Electric Dreams

Madame Aionia's Astrological Dreaming Series
Dreaming Through the Houses: 
4th House Dreams 

Madame Aionia
& Island

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  Aionia, Madame (2000 April). Madame Aionia's Astrological Dreaming Series: Dreaming Through the Houses: 4th House. Electric Dreams 7(4). Retrieved July 14, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

~ or ~ 

Aionia, Madame (1997 April). Madame Aionia's Astrological Dreaming Series: Dreaming Through the Houses: 4th House. Electric Dreams 4(4). Retrieved July 26, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

- and -

Island (1997 May). Fourth House Dreaming. Electric Dreams 4(5). Retrieved July 26, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams


Have you ever wondered how dreams and astrology are connected?

There are many ways we can connect dreams to astrology, and many don't require that you know all about your Natal Chart. In this column we will be exploring the symbolic rather than predictive aspects of astrology. Symbolic astrology attempts to use the images of astrological to give meaning to one's life and empower choices rather than predict paths. We do this by imaginal overlay. In this process we impleach, (poetically interweave) dream, image, feeling, life and symbol in a way to evoke a felt sense of the dream's imagery and its position in our life.

This year we are focusing each month on a different House. The inner circle of the Natal or Birth Chart is divided into 12 distinct regions know as Houses. They relate to everyday activates. One will be about physical appearances and temperament, while another relates to possessions, for example. Planets and signs fall within these Houses and influence the areas of focus. We will be watching for images of planets, signs and other celestial events and hopefully begin to see the emergence of an astrological chart that dips into birth charts, dreams, and our waking life.

This month we are focusing on the Fourth House, which corresponds to Cancer and the Moon, is the domain of childhood, origin, family and roots. Being at the base of the astrological chart, it represents the base of the individual her/himself both literally and figuratively. Literally we can talk about the kind of dream houses we come from, and figuratively in terms of issue of security and safety. Think for a moment about the emotional atmosphere that surrounded you before you were old enough to make choices about this. If you have a Jungian bent, this would be the area of the personal unconscious, or behaviorally speaking, the areas of early conditioning.

The Garden Grandchild
I am sitting in a rocking chair in my garden, rocking, knitting and watching a small child who seems to me as well. The child plays by the flower garden chasing butterflies and I think to myself how the child lives in a vast world barely recognized by adults, yet somehow very similar to my own. A parent shouts from the house to call the child.

A New Room
While going down the hall in my house I discover a new room that I had never seen there before. I look around to tell someone but there isn't anyone around so I go in. It's like a pharaoh's tomb, but with lots of childhood toys. I'm thrilled with the find and completely confounded that I hadn't seen the room before.

Lost in the Alleyways
I leave classroom and head home, but can't recall how to get there. I become more and more lost, wandering around in an old alley system. Just when I think I'm close to home, the way is blocked.
When we give these dreams a forth house reading, the images we foreground are enclosures which surround and protect. Notice the circles of enclosures in the Garden dream, where the child is surrounded by layers of circles, home, parents, grandparents(old woman-watcher) garden, lawn, and even her own fantasy system. Also, the Fourth House is seen as bearing on the attitudes and abilities of the parents to fulfill their commitments, which is seen in the call of the parents from the house. In the New Room, the dreamer finds an unknown (unconscious) enclosure that hints at being a tomb, but also a womb. Perhaps the dreamer has tapped into problems or areas of childhood that were repressed and never developed. The fourth House deals not only with the home, but the beginning and end of life as well. There may be some larger reconciliation's in store for this dreamer. In Lost, the dreamer is in search of a home and this indicates a disruption with the person's sense of inner being in the Fourth House. All searching for childhood, origin, family and roots may be seen as 4th House issues. Issues in the fourth house, like the personal unconscious, generally have to be discovered and brought up to the surface before they can be dealt with constructively. More existentially, anxieties, fears and insecurities may be seen as being uncomfortable in the home of oneself.

Unknown houses and rooms, secret rivers and caves, lost homes and apartments all are opportunities to explore lost areas of the psyche. The Jungian M. L. von Franz used to say that the way Jung taught us to distinguish between issue of the personal and collective unconscious was by having people ask themselves "is this something I lost and am now finding, (personal unconscious) or is this leading me to something that I never knew and is completely alien to me (collective unconscious)?" There is always a little of both in every exploration of the unknown, but the question can help us here to generally distinguish between the subterranean river that the Fourth House is about and the vaster underground sea that is more about issue beyond the personal home, and before and after the beginning and end of the personal life. However, the personal aspect doesn't necessary mean it is easier to approach. Many collective issues have been worked out by the group (society, culture) and have entered into the shared language systems. Personal issue may appear alien to us as well, never having been given a voice.

There is a great deal of debate in astrology about whether the 4th House is about the Mother or the Father. Usually the arguments are about who provides the early atmosphere of security and safety. I think we can be more sophisticated now and say that earlier levels of the forth house are likely to spin around the early caretakers, while later levels will have more to do with other backbones in family system. This would traditionally locate the mother as primary and father as later secondary, for example.

And so, there may be issues in 4th house dreaming of intimacy. Early disruptions in security are not irreparable, but do have a lasting effect on many people. Fourth house dream issues may be seen in polarities, either a deep attachment to the family and home, or an aversion. One might see obsessions about family, or compulsions to collect large tracks of land.

However, I'm not trying to develop an astro-pathology here and send us all on a hunt for neurotic images in our dreams. Rather I just want to point to some of the less obvious areas that can arise in dreams that wouldn't perhaps be seen as 4th House issue. The possible range of response to 4th House dreams takes in a project larger than psychology. Delightful, warm and wandering in the Garden of Eden dreams are a pleasure in themselves and can be enjoyed as such. If you feel particularly Protestant or Evolutionary, you might consider tracking what your dream maker produces in the realm of home-y pleasures so you can expand and more easily return to these images. The possibilities for Forth House Lucid dreaming are endless and rewarding. And as mutual dreaming becomes more popular, we can have better places to meet in dreamland.

Jung once viewed the house in his dream as a picture of the psyche overall. There were earlier levels, social levels, and deep in the cellar, collective unconscious levels. We can use these dream houses as maps to (metaphorically) decide where we want to live, where we want to play, where we want to work, celebrate, make love, create and socialize. For those who do feel the need to work on issue of security and trust, these images offer the opportunity to develop an inner sense of security and self acceptance that can not be shaken by small movements in the outer world. The project of our parent's commitment to us that may still be left undone can be picked up and completed within the investigation of dreams within the 4th House.

Finally, a note about feelings and dreams and the 4th House. The feelings we talk about in the 4th House are generally the ones that *occur* to us rather that the ones we later *develop*. And yet in dreams, this distinction may not always be clear. Freud identified a level of dreaming where the feelings can be for something altogether other than the initial stimulus (displacement), and also may find themselves modified in other ways, being more or less intense than intended, combined with other feelings and absent altogether. Jung re-visioned this to show how each of these novel occurrences can lead us to a higher functioning self. However we view these dream feelings, there are there for us and create an immediate sense of relevancy. When we cooperate with them consciously without fear or being possessed by them, we report our lives being more connected and rich. Emotions last over time and in doing so offer us the opportunity to be in time/space in an embodied way that in many ways is larger than we are. In this sense they are the atmosphere of our home. When recording a dream, to record it's overall mood as well. This can be the thread that will lead you through the twisty maze of the 4th House.

If you have 4th House Dreams, send them in to M. Aionia and -next year we will include them when the Wheel turns ‘round again!

Next Month: The Pets, Pleasures and Project of Dreaming in the Fifth House!

M Aionia

Island (1997 May). Fourth House Dreaming. Electric Dreams 4(5). Retrieved July 26, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

Here is an example of a fourth house dream:

Where There's Fire, There's Deep Lawnings (97.03.01)
Dreamed Rob and I walk across the lawn of a two-story house where at least one man & probably others live. Smoke alerts us to the possibility of a fire, and we let the young man coming down from the 2nd story know, although I'm not sure we are believed. Something about me then calling a store owner who sold the man the sofa, which is to be carted out of the house and back to the shop. I think that's where the problem lies. Only as the store owner tells me the ID# of the sofa, he repeats it so quicky several times that I cannot write it down. I ask him to go slower again and again as his patience runs out and I never get the number. Then Rob and I are at a table eating with a friendly group, who suddenly disappear, while we are then eating with at least one unfamiliar person who isn't so friendly.

-- but when I dreamed it on March 1st, 1997, I had no clue as to the dream's meaning. Intrigued, however, by the possibility of astrological keywords that might help me unlock at least the focus of the dream, I analyzed the dream, first, by assigning house numbers for every word that appeared in the dream, using The Astrological Thesaurus: House Keywords, by Michael Munkasey, published in 1992 by Llewellyn Publications.

Here's the simple analysis. Every number references an astrological house. Every word with a number appears in The Astrological Thesaurus, also referenced by house (and category). Any number in parentheses means the keyword is introduced earlier in the dream; any #/# means shared houses. Seems like a lot of work, but it really isn't. Just provides clarity where little existed before.

12 Dreamed
7 Rob and I
1 walk across the
4 lawn of a
4 two-story house where at least
9 one man & probably others (strangers)
4 live.
12 Smoke
1 alerts us to
9 the possibility of a
1/5 fire,
2 and the young man
10 coming down from the 2nd story
11 we let know, although
12 I'm not sure
9 we are believed. Something about
1 me then calling
4/2 a store owner who
9 sold the man
2 the sofa, which is to be
(3/4) carted out of the house and back to the shop.
8 I think that's where the problem lies. Only as the store owner
3 tells me
1 the ID# of the sofa,
3 he repeats it so quicky several times
3 that I cannot write it down.
8 I ask him to
2 go slower again and again as
1 his patience runs out and
12 I never get
6 the number.
(7) Then Rob and I are
6 at a table
4 eating
11 with a friendly group,
8 who suddenly disappear, while
(4) we are then eating with
2 at least one unfamiliar
7 person who isn't so friendly.

When I say, "This is a fourth house dream," what I mean is essentially, this dream may be primarily about fourth house matters. And fourth house matters are at the core of Self. We begin our sojourn here, and end it here. It's the heart, the root of things and, perhaps, the wellspring of life itself. It's about caring, devotion, ethnic traditions, family, hearth and home. It's about our fundamental nature; quality of life; it's about anything from the past -- memory, history -- what calls forth sentiment; it's about accumulation -- attachment, holding onto what one considers valuable, worth cherishing -- and how one goes about protecting what is near and dear to one's heart.

Did I personally need to reference the houses and do an actual count to get a sense that this was a fourth house dream? (Even though it is debatable that it is a seventh house dream, just as much as a fourth house dream, but I feel it's fourth house because of what the dream seems to be striving for). Unfortunately, yes. This is how my interpretation of the dream evolved:

Rob and I (a married couple) are defining ourselves as a couple as we walk across the lawn of a two-story house occupied by strangers. From the getgo there's a sense that we have not clearly defined as a couple what we value or cherish as a couple. Interesting because March is our anniversary month, and we are now married seven years. But that's clear to me why we probably haven't evolved to that point yet. We are from such radically different walks of life, inherited radically different values, belief systems, et cetera, that no wonder we are seven years into a marriage without having done little more than delineating for each other who we are as individuals.

I assume, in retrospect, that it's our unclaimed, unpossessed house we're looking at. It's two stories. I'm glad of that because it gives us a chance to be cerebral as well as grounded. Right now strangers, perhaps soon to be acquaintances, live there. So perhaps soon Rob and I will come into an increased understanding of what is valuable to us as a couple, rather than just as the arch individualists we are. But there's smoke, suggesting a 12th house matter. This 12th house, hidden matter, brings one of the strangers in the house down to the ground. The fire -- could potentially be the ardent fire of desire; the purifying fire; the creative fire; the fires of destruction. We sound the alarm or recognize the potential of the fire, but something lacks conviction, or purpose. Something is missing because we are uncertain that we are believed, or believable. Belief is a 9th house concern. It appears that something emanating from the dark recesses of our beings, from the shadowlands of the 12th house, is eroding away our belief in ourSelves, perhaps.

Funny thing, but implicit in the dream is what that belief in ourSelves may refer to. When our story of a possible fire brings the young man down from the 2nd story, that alludes to 10th house matters. And the 10th house has to do with achievements and accomplishments, for starters. Do we question this about ourselves? Yes, we do. Maybe that's our Achilles' heel and where we feel most vulnerable. What have we achieved or accomplished as a couple in the eyes of anyone looking at us? Little, I'm sure. Does it matter? Maybe not, because we bring the man down. Perhaps that's one way in which we are beginning to define ourselves as a couple: our inherited understanding as to what matters in terms of status and recognition is not important to us.

The second conundrum: there's the problem of the sofa in this house. Funny, we don't even in reality own a sofa: just a day bed. So when people come over and want to sit comfortably on the expected sofa, they won't because it ain't there. (How many times have I walked into houses where sofas are placed, but no one ever sits?) Is the dream suggesting to us that we have a problem with sofas? Rob didn't want one. Neither did I. Yet does that problem stand in the way of our occupying our own house? Well. Could be. Must be our own house because otherwise, how would I even know how to contact the store owner who sold the sofa that now sits there? And needs to be removed? Must be repaired, fixed, so it can become functional, or have some value. What should exist without value in a house? But something to do with that sofa and perhaps the shared meanings we attach to it could be looked at.

I must want to get to the heart of the conundrum because I contact the store owner and try to get the ID# of the sofa, ostensibly for return and repair. How to identify that sofa? How to seat people comfortably in our presence when they drop in or visit? Or more important, what about those strangers who live in our house? Maybe they're not too comfortable with us a couple. So they can never plop on a sofa and hang around for while just to be known. Maybe the two of us are just two rugged individualists who love each other very much but, beyond that, there's a degree of awkwardness about, perhaps, hidden or private matters that I have heretofore not considered consciously.

Still I must return to the 10th house matters because, though I want to go slow -- and I do -- he repeats the identification number rapidly several times, and I never get it. Delays, repeating efforts, mastering tasks: certainly a tenth house concern. Who likes to work fast, furiously and, in many divergent directions? Rob. When he's on the ground floor. Who likes to go slow on the ground floor? Me. But when I'm on the second floor, I like to do what he does on the first floor. Go off in many different directions simultaneously. And when he's on the second floor, he likes to do what I do. Go slow. Take one thing at a time. So as of yet I haven't really been able to identify the sofa that will have me and Rob sitting on it, and what we value and cherish as individuals, becoming shared, even though the store owner's patience runs out!

The dream ends by foreshadowing a developing sense of what we each have to share with the other at our heart of hearts as individuals that will begin to build on who we are together. Build on our home base -- not our parents but our home foundation -- together. I have problems even now articulating what that means exactly. It feels like an amalgamation of some kind where, what either of us chooses brings to the table (or sit on a sofa), remains undiminished by the other in value, even though the other might not embrace that value as an individual. It's more than accepting or honoring differences -- it's like embracing, including a difference somehow.

Yet Rob and I eat at a table, a fourth house activity, first, with a group, and then with an unfamiliar person, who is not as friendly as the group of people. Mr. Munkasey, in his Astrological Thesaurus, references unfamiliarity as a second house concern, whereas a stranger is referenced as ninth house. Because the second house concerns itself with the value one places on things, to include psychological worth, and how one goes about enjoying the finer things in life, such as eating a wonderful dinner or reclining on a luxurious sofa, I see the relevance of our now eating with an unfamiliar person. Feels just right for now.

I could only but marvel at how Mr. Munkasey has tackled, I feel, successfully, the awesome project of making astrological houses accessible to understanding. Secretly I sighed because dream interpretation is in its infancy by comparison. Yet I wondered if I might not make my dream more accessible by relying on this man's decades of research because I instinctively believed that there are is a strong correspondence between dream language and astrological concepts. Certainly deserves further thought.

-- Island