The Astrology of Awake and Asleep

How do you feel when that alarm goes off on Monday morning?

Do you think how wonderful it is to be alive and jump out of bed to greet the new day? Or does your head hurt and make you feel sluggish? Do you wish you could go back to sleep for a few more hours? Do you dread the morning drive to work?

The alarm wakens to you three dimensional reality. In sleep you were somewhere else.

Neither state is inherently pleasant or unpleasant. You could have been having an unpleasant dream and wakened to the start of a new project that excites you. Or you could have been dreaming about winning the lottery and wake to face a long drive to underpaid work.

When we want people to “wake up,” we want them to face reality. When we say someone is “asleep” it means “not there.” When we say we have “a dream,” it usually means an aspiration.

Which planets rule awake and asleep?


In astrology, Uranus is the great awakener. Uranus awakening is like the alarm clock. It wakes you up, now, because now is the time for you to move from here to there (or there to here).

Like your alarm clock, Uranus jolts. It comes suddenly.

Uranus is the sudden meeting with a person who will be with you the rest of your life. Uranus is an accident that changes you forever. Uranus is finding the long-lost treasure in the basement one rainy Saturday. Uranus is finding the love letters to your husband from someone else . . .

What are you waking up to? You wake to reality, which is Saturn.

Many years ago a chi gong teacher told me that people are rarely in their bodies. After years of meditation, I now get it.

Uranus awakens you to reality. But what we call reality is normally colored by our thoughts and feelings.

You thought your husband was committed but discover he is not. The reality is different than the thought. The reality hurts where the thought was pleasant, in this example. It could be the other way around.

When you wake, your mind is quite clear and you construct the reality around you – I’m in bed, the alarm has gone off, I need to get up, I’m hungry.

Meditation is like that – I’m here, I’m sitting. That’s it.

The way I understand it now, meditation is the opposite of sleep. It’s not about fantasizing or longing for other places or states (such as heaven or nirvana) or losing consciousness – it’s about being here, now.

That’s it.

So why is it so hard to meditate? Why do non-meditators fear and dread sitting still for minutes (or hours or days) at a time?

Many people fear silence. We say we are so busy, but the minute we have unstructured time we try to fill it. What do we really fear?

The busy-ness we complain about is a result of our own inability to have non-busy-ness. We built the buildings, we created the fluorescent lights, we said the hours are nine to five.

Awake takes energy and sleep restores energy.

To be fully present is an energy-draining affair. While you’re sitting in that meeting, are you truly present? Or are you thinking about lunch, how much you hate your job, what you’re going to do later in the evening?

Although we’ve risen from bed, we may not be “awake.”

If you wake to the alarm clock with a sense of dread at having to get up and work, you’ll feel the same way when Uranus comes to wake you up. Uranus is always moving through your chart, waking you up in various areas of your life.

If you don’t like to wake to the day, you won’t like Uranus waking you up to the same day in Blue Ray.

If Uranus in transiting your second house of finances, you may be “waking up” to what your financial history has meant.

Uranus seems to rule “awake” but is tied with Saturn reality. Waking to reality seems to be the true awakening.


Dream states and undifferentiated consciousness are ruled by Neptune. Neptune is where we merge with all-that-is and are no longer a self.

While you dream, you actively respond to the images. Upon waking, you wonder why you reacted with such fear to a purple-headed coffee cup.

The problem with being “one” with everything is that like a leaf in the river, you will flow wherever the river is flowing.

“Going with the flow” is seen as a positive trait. But “going with the flow” in Nazi Germany clearly was a bad idea.

That is Neptune’s problem – it doesn’t color the flow, it just rules the flow itself. Individuals with too much Neptune (such as in the first house), tend to follow all leaders, follow all trends.

Fashion, then, is Neptunian (I think it was Liz Greene that presented this idea). Fashion can’t be imposed, like order. Fashion can be presented but what takes hold is organic. Organic trends aren’t logical or differentiated which is why fashion can be destructive (foot binding, waist pinching, pouring chemicals on our faces).

Sleep is clearly important in a human life. Without sleep, we can’t function in reality.

My Internet search found an article from Scientific American. The longest a person can go without sleep, they determined, is about 11 days.

Even though one can go without sleep for 11 days, we are essentially “cognitively dysfunctional.”

No sleep, no awake.

Sleep and awake are intertwined. One can’t exist without the other. Interesting.

We can’t experience three-dimensional reality (Saturn) without a dip into the waters of Neptune. Carlos Castaneda refers to all-that-is as “the dark sea of awareness.” That very description is a description of Neptune.

To Castaneda, reality is simply sharing the same dream. The dream may change over time. Today’s “dream” involves a lot of self-absorption which Castaneda believes is an energy drain.

When Neptune moves through your chart, you might feel confused in that area of your life. If Neptune is transiting your fifth house of creativity, you might find yourself creating art that arises from a deep place in yourself that even you don’t understand.

What is the relationship between awake and asleep?

Sleep feeds awake. With no sleep, there is no awake. Too much sleep, however, also leads to no awake.

Sleep brings us into the world of Neptune which provides energy. Energy allows us to be awake.

Meditation may seem a waste of time to some but energy is used simply to exist which is why it seems to result in a state called “relaxation.”

To some, meditation is self-absorption. I disagree; having thoughts about the self is self-absorption. Sitting and experiencing reality as it is results in detachment from self. If you detach from self, can you be self-absorbed?

Waking, to Castaneda, is saving energy from useless pursuits, such as worry about what others think of you. With energy, you can be awake in the dream.

Energy used inefficiently, then, allows us to be in reality only marginally while our thoughts and feelings move us to a state between awake and asleep.


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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