Have your quarantine dreams been bananas lately? If so, you’re not alone. People around the world are recounting vivid nocturnal memories that are nightmarish, embarrassing and everything in between. This phenomenon is so widespread that sites like I Dream of COVID have sprung up, collecting and interpreting people’s pandemic-fueled dreams. From mind-melding with bats to being rejected from a global sex tape competition, turns out our own psyches are getting too hot to handle.
Obviously, there are scientific reasons for this. Anxiety is messing with our sleep patterns and burrowing into our bedtime storylines. And with WFH regulations, many people are waking up later, giving us time to let our dreams unspool during the final R.E.M. cycle, making them richer and more complex.
Astrology has an explanation for all this nocturnal activity too. For this, we’re pointing at a pair of uncomfortable bedfellows—Pluto and Jupiter—who are in cahoots in 2020.
Pluto rules the unconscious; basically, everything we bury out of sight. Jupiter, on the other hand, is like a stadium-sized spotlight, exposing all the intel that’s been hidden from our view. Every 12-13 years, the two planets orbit to the same position in the sky and boom! We are given a front-row seat to our own nightmares.
As fate would have it, 2020 is one of those years. From April through November, Jupiter and Pluto are traveling in close proximity. They’ll make three exact conjunctions (astro-speak for two planets arriving at the same zodiac sign and degree in the sky) on April 4, June 30 and November 12.
In Roman mythology, Jupiter—Zeus to the ancient Greeks—is the god of all gods and the ruler of the sky and thunder. Pluto—or Hades, to the Greeks—lorded over the underworld. Essentially, Jupiter handles heavens and Pluto governs hell. As Jupiter and Pluto combine forces, they stir up serious internal unrest. Jupiter won’t let you deny the existence of anything—not even if it’s material fit for a true crime series. But let’s get real: Pluto can be so sinister that it’s hard to accept what arises. The three Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions will plunge us into “shadow work,” as we deal with fears that have been submerged in our unconscious. This is some truly Freudian stuff we’re parsing through here.
If you dreamed about assaulting a hygiene-challenged roommate or found yourself tingling from a REM-state sex scene with the douchiest creeper in your office, forgive yourself now! As it happens, 2020’s Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions are taking place in Capricorn, the sign that makes us long for status and power. Capricorn is also associated with the patriarchy, world leaders and banks. Unconscious feelings of domination—or being dominated—could surge up while we sleep. Pluto rules everything scandal from murder to sex to espionage. This could make some of our #QuarantineDreams pretty twisted and others the sexy, isolation-time alternative to Netflix and chill.
Certainly, analyzing dreams can be repulsive at times. (No need to tweet about that leather bar scene with Kim Jong-un). Nevertheless, high-minded Jupiter encourages us to get philosophical and search for the message in the madness. Sigmund Freud, who developed many early decoding techniques put it well, “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”
If you’re feeling extra brave, ask yourself this: What do I reveal and what do I hide? We all have a front-facing “persona,” but what is it covering up? On a deeply intimate level, the Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions are pushing us to deal with the undercover aspects of our personalities. These are the parts of ourselves we may disown, feel ashamed of, or even project onto other people, accusing them of the very qualities that we are acting out…or DREAMING out.
Are you feeling a little too exposed right now? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Jupiter is the flashlight and Pluto is the monster that lives under everyone’s bed. And right now, they are reading us all like a Little Golden Book.
Speaking of books, consider adding some Carl Jung to your quarantine reading list. Both a psychoanalyst and an avid astrologer, Jung encouraged the individual dreamer to do her own interpretation. There’s no time like the present to test-drive his concept of the collective unconscious which speaks to the hidden fears common among many humans. In Jung’s words, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Who knows? Maybe your Covid-19 dreams are here to set you free. Or maybe tapping outspoken Jupiter’s candor is the key. As we talk about all the fears buried in Pluto’s vault, we bring them to consciousness, giving ourselves a little more power of a situation that still remains enigmatically beyond our control.