Alex Trenoweth
Joe Cocker
May 18, 2020
Jupiter-Pluto conjunction
The Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction
June 1, 2020
Joe Cocker
May 18, 2020
Jupiter-Pluto conjunction
The Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction
June 1, 2020

Along Came a Spider: Astrological Dreamwork

spider dream

I'm so scared of spiders, I don't even like this shit on my website

The other night, I had a terrible dream. It was so awful, it woke me up so the terror was still fresh in my memory as I roused myself to consciousness. Aside from terror, the main feeling I had was disgust and the feeling of somehow being contaminated. Sometimes, I wake up in a state of anxiety but can’t remember the dream. This is a completely different reaction to the dream I had just had. I looked at my clock: 27 May 2020, 5:05am London (UK).

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OK, back to that dream. . .

spider dream

Knowing that sleep would not return, I got out of bed to make a cup of tea. I did not want to think about the dream. So I distracted myself with checking emails and other administrative tasks until I was no longer thinking about the dream. I did not construct the chart of the dream that day because I was not ready to think about it.

A few days later, my neighbour said something about a strange dream he had. It brought my own dream back in vivid detail. Tired of the fear the dream had induced in me, it was time for me to start processing it. Being a strongly Mercurial person, I needed to discuss it with other people. What to do during lockdown? I posted my dream on Facebook. Here is what I wrote:

The Spider Dream

I had a terrible dream about a big, hairy spider the other night. I was in this house and this MONSTER just emerged and so my friend kicked it down the stairs, knocking six (yes I counted in my dream) of its legs off as it fell. When I peeked down the stairs to make sure it was dead, it hopped back up the stairs on its remaining two legs, telling me it was going to get me. 

The chart of my waking from the dream has strong links to my natal chart. My ascendant is 6 degrees Gemini, my natal Sun is 27 degrees Cancer and my Venus is 28 Gemini. Transiting Venus is square my Natal Uranus/Pluto conjunction (as well as my Progressed Mercury and Sun). Both my Progressed Moon and Progressed Mars are conjunct my Natal Mercury at 10 Leo. My Natal Mercury is unaspected to other planets and conjunct my Imum Coeli, just inside the 3rd house.

I think these connections are enough to establish the effect the dream might have on me. However, they don’t provide meaning. To get to the meaning, we need a different kind of astrology.

A little background information. . .I am an arachnophobe. My response to seeing a spider is to strike and kill. Just to make this fear even more irrational, I think spiders sense this in me and for the most part, they stay out of my way. When I was in Australia, I was terrified I’d see a big spider. I didn’t see anything (not that I went looking!). So let’s keep in mind that me and spiders are not friends. It’s important for this story.

Awhile back, my friend Leah Whitehorse wrote an article about Arachne. Though I appreciate her respect for spiders (and certainly the Ojibwa and other traditions encourage this respect), I do not share this feeling. Spiders scare me and my reaction is to lash out. If I am reincarnated as a spider and some human squishes me in terror, well then I understand in advance. I shall stay away from humans.

But I digress. . .

The Chart of the Spider Dream

I posted my dream at 11:26am on 30 May. However it was at 12:02 that I thought I was beginning to process what the dream meant. (The times can be verified on Facebook by the way.) After some speculation and a bit of banter, I wrote “I don’t think the one (the spider) in my dream had good intentions!” This statement was the first deliberate step I took to understand my dream and so that time is the one I’ve used to construct the horary chart.

To help with the interpretation of this dream, I’m using the advice of my good friend Rod Suskin who spoke on the topic of dream interpretations in India.

posting spider dream

I think the feeling of revulsion that I felt so strongly when I woke up can be attributed to the Moon, my significator as the dreamer, in Virgo. Rod says the 9th house rules the dream itself and Mars, the ruler of the 9th, is opposite the Moon in Pisces and in the 7th (“open enemies”). That I took to social media to try to make sense of my spider dream shows the apex of the T square from that opposition is the Sun in Gemini (loosely conjunct Venus) in the 10th. So you see, it’s like the dream is a threat to me and I need to push the dream into a public place in order to be freed from its terror.

Mars

Rod says dreams ruled by Mars are associated (by tradition) with “violence, conflict, men, weapons, dangerous animals, fire, dogs.” My friend who kicked the spider was male and I feel strongly that the spider was male too–and it certainly was a dangerous animal that very much looked like a small, furry-yet-vicious dog with eight legs. I didn’t mention it in my post but my dream also had a fire that was deliberately set in it. I also didn’t mention in my original post that when the spider started coming after me, I picked up a broom handle (conveniently located) and finished the spider off, leaving it in big, disgusting pieces on the stairs. So I think Mars in Pisces is an apt significator for the dream itself.

Another theme that has been on my mind has been the issue of service to the community (Moon in Virgo). A couple of years ago, I swore I’d never work for free again but I feel, with things being as they are, that it is time to relax that rule. I’ve recently agreed to make several appearances for free and I am delighted to be able to do so. While I don’t feel taken advantage of in this regard, I can see I may have been anxious about being taken advantage of in other ways. I think that Moon in Virgo wants to work on those leaks made by Mars in Pisces and the spider dream is serving as a warning.

Rod also indicated that “If the south node is in the ninth house or conjunct the main significator of the dream it will have the characteristics of a disturbing dream or nightmare – fear, danger, unpleasantness, being chased, feeling threatened or something similar.” Although it is outside the rules of horary, I wanted to point out the South Node of the asteroid Arachne is within a one degree conjunction of the Moon of when I was ready to process the dream. Natally Arachne is conjunct my Neptune and South Node and transiting Neptune is currently opposing it.

The Meaning

While I can’t see that I will ever be able to study or appreciate arachnids the way some people can, I can–through this dream–appreciate the frailty of, the revulsion and the fascination I have had for certain men who have figuratively (or actually) posed a threat to me. What I think comforts me and shows that I am not just some paranoid man-hater is that my saviour (the one who kicked the spider down the stairs, disabling it so it would be slow enough for me to kill it) was a man too. My waking revulsion, I now think, is related to the shame I felt when I beat that spider to pieces.

spider dream
Proof that I tried cognitive behaviour therapy #desensitization

My friend Claudia Bader asked me to give the spider a voice. If that spider could talk, it would say: “I am mortally injured. I am using the last of my strength to just show you I am not afraid of you. Put me out of the pain of my final moments”. The spider used my fear to its ultimate advantage. In my current state of mind, it made me feel I had been taken advantage of.

But that poor old spider, after being kicked down the stairs and losing six of its legs, was hardly in a position to put up any more of a fight. However, it did become bipedal, it acquired a male voice and it aggressively chased me in its final seconds. My response was to beat it to death and leave it in big, disgusting pieces. I think I felt immense guilt that I over-used my strength to kill that spider.

After all, it was on its last legs.

But I think the real punchline of this story is that the MC of the chart is conjunct Algol!

Alex Trenoweth
Alex Trenoweth
Alex Trenoweth, MA, DFAstrolS is an astrologer, teacher and author of "Growing Pains", "The Wolf You Feed" and the soon-to-be-released "Mirror Mirror" by The Wessex Astrologer. She travels across the globe lecturing on the topic of Astrology and Education. In 2015, she was voted "Best International Astrologer" for her innovative research on astrology and adolescence. Her work has been published in major astrological magazines around the world such as Dell Horoscope, the International Society of Astrological Research, the Organization for Professional Astrologers and she is co-editor of "Constellation News", one of the largest astrological magazines on the planet.

4 Comments

  1. […] Over the years, I’ve experimented with various methods of dream interpretations from Freud to Gestalt, dream interpretation books and lots of other sources. I found Freud to be pretty useless and the books not a lot of help but Gestalt’s method of getting the symbol of the dream to express its feelings was something I could use. Recently, I’ve started to use Rod Suskin’s method of dream interpretation and I’ve found it extremely useful, both for my clients and also for my own troubling dreams. […]

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