Astrology fanatics that we are, we read our horoscopes to get a better idea of what's coming up in our lives — our waking lives, that is. But, according to astrologer and dream expert Stephanie Gailing, the stars can be a window into our non-waking lives, too. Meaning: Our astrological signs can inform how we understand our dreams (and vice versa).
As you probably already know, pent-up emotions like to come out to play when we dream. "We work out a lot of our psychic tension through our dreams," Gailing says. Even the most out-of-the-ordinary scenarios you encounter in your dreams may stem from everyday life.
Sometimes, we can point to our jobs or issues in our personal lives as the inspiration of our dreams. But, if you have a dream with an overriding theme or image that you just can't place, Gailing says the answer could be written in the stars.
She suggests keeping track of the celestial bodies' transits, also known as movements, through the signs. (As the planets orbit the sun, they align with each of the signs in the Zodiac for a period of time before moving onto the next sign.) For example, our dreams can be influenced by the sign that the sun happens to be in. We are currently in the midst of Aries season, so there's a chance that your recent dreams have featured more conflict or action than usual.
Gailing says that any planet that's in your sign can affect your dreams. "If you’re having a Pluto transit, your dreams might be deep," she says. "If the planet Neptune [is in your sign], water may be a main image in your dream." Once you get familiar with each of the planets' properties, you may start to notice their influence on your dreams. Just keep reading your trusty horoscope, courtesy of the Astrotwins, to stay up to date on any planetary shifts (or, heaven forbid, any retrogrades).
But planets aren't the only things that can affect what you dream about — some of your dreams may be rooted more deeply in your astrological makeup. Yes, we're talking about your birth chart, the starmap of the moment you were born. Gailing always keeps a client's chart handy when they explain their dreams to her. (If you don't know what your birth chart looks like, here's how to figure that out.)
"The chart gives us that other angle to work with the dream," she says, explaining that, if someone doesn't see their sun sign reflected in their dreams (for instance, when a classically hardworking Capricorn dreams about work), it could be that their moon sign, rising sign, or other planetary sign may be having more of an impact. "Somebody might be, say, a Pisces, but if they have a lot of planets in Taurus, [their dreams] are going to express more from that Taurean realm," she says.
So, just as much as your birth chart can inform how you interpret your dreams, the subject matter of your dreams can reveal how you express the values and traits of your signs, too.
If you're ready to get the astrological 411 on your dreams, start by writing down your dreams. This could mean keeping a detailed dream journal or jotting down a list of images on an index card. Gailing says to find what works best for you and go with that. "Even if you can’t remember your dream in the morning, I always council people to just write the date and then write, 'I don’t remember my dream,'" she says. "Even that act starts to get you in the habit of recalling the dream."
From there, keep an eye on the stars and get acquainted with your birth chart. You'll be the stargazer of your dreams in no time.