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This is Part 3 of a 9-Part Series
from a previously unpublished article
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Dreams and the Inconjunct
Some dreams ask us to linger and savor an experience that would otherwise evaporate in the morning light. Others propel us into the day with an energy that is ignored at our peril. Certain characters in our dreams invite further dialogue; certain objects or situations that cannot exist in this world invite further scrutiny. Some dreams seem to point backward in time; other dreams point forward; still others hint at a non-linear concept of time that defies our very notions of past and future. Similarly, the dreamscape itself jumbles interior and exterior space the way Picasso paints a still life.
Such a world cannot be approached with the rational mind, which is precisely what makes it such a fertile field in which to find fresh meaning in familiar symbolism.
Dreams are essentially an invitation to see what otherwise cannot be seen by the conscious mind. In what might be an astro-logical point of entry to this strange possibility, classical astrologers likewise consider inconjuncts – defined as aspects of 30° or 150° – to be those in which two planets cannot “see” each other, because the angle between them creates a blind spot. Claudius Ptolemy considered planets in such an angular relationship to be in aversion to each other, rather than aspect, since by analogy of sign placement, they hold neither gender, element, nor modality in common[i]. Contemporary classical astrologer Chris Brennan notes that it was Kepler – intrigued more by angular relationships than by the zodiac – who began the modern practice of considering the inconjunct an aspect[ii].
Most modern psychological astrologers accept the inconjunct as an aspect – some as a major aspect – but acknowledge the awkward, irreconcilable nature of the dilemma that they pose. Jungian astrologer Karen Hamaker-Zondag calls them “troublesome” because “the planets involved don’t understand each other’s worlds at all[iii].” Or as Donna Cunningham explains it:
Oppositions can balance one another – with sufficient give and take, there’s a kind of partnership. Squares butt heads because the two planets are in competition with one another, yet clash in part because they want some of the same types of things. The quincunx, however, is an ‘it does not compute’ aspect. The wants and needs of the two signs involved have no real connection –instead it’s a disconnect. They’re unrelated by element or mode, so there’s no natural point of contact, no easy affinity or resonance.[iv]
What better aspect, then – or aversion, if you prefer – to signify the intersection between astrological symbolism and the unconscious. It has, in fact, been my informal observation that my personal dream recall seems to increase during periods of heightened transiting inconjunct activity in my chart. My sense of this is that these are time when what normally can’t be seen finds some ingenious way to make itself known.
[i] From Tetrabilos, quoted by Peter James Clark, “Al Buruni & Ptolemy on Aspects,” Classical Astrologer Weblog, January 31, 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2014. https://classicalastrologer.me/2013/01/31/4140/.
[ii] Chris Brennan, “The Importance of Yods in Astrology,” The Horoscopic Astrology Blog, July 26, 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2014. https://horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2010/07/26/the-importance-of-yods-in-astrology/.
[iv] Donna Cunningham, “Heinous Hybrids – Why the Quincunx is No Minor Aspect,” Skywriter, April 3, 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2014. https://skywriter.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/heinous-hybrids%E2%80%94why-the-quincunx-is-no-minor-aspect/.