Anyone who has worked in hospitals can tell when a full Moon approaches without looking at the sky. They can sense it’s approach in the intensity of the people they are working with. Correlations between the cycles of the Moon and human behavior have been drawn for centuries.
It isn’t just the state of a person’s conscious mind that is impacted by the full Moon, however. Recent scientific studies have shown that the phases of the Moon can affect sleep patterns. One examined sleep patterns for children in several countries documented disruption in duration and quality of sleep during the full Moon.
Another study from scientists in Switzerland documented a decrease in sleep at a minimum of 20 minutes during the full Moon. In this study, conditions such as moonlight were controlled as subjects were in a dark room to ensure no outside distractions could account for the decrease in sleep.
Even prior to these studies the Moon has been associated with sleep and dreams.
Due to its changing visibility the Moon is a time keeper. She represents cycles both from day to night and throughout the month. She is considered feminine and corresponds to the cycles of menstruation as well as the cycles of life from childhood to adult and elderhood. As a time keeper, the Moon is also associated with the darkness of night and one’s ability to see and navigate in the dark. Perhaps for this reason the Moon is connected to sleep and the dream world.
The Moon is also connected to dreams because of her association with the subconscious. As a satellite, she is visible only because of light reflected from the Sun. Therefore, her power is associated with underlying energy working behind the scenes to illuminate what can’t be seen in the light of day. The unconscious worlds, intuition, creativity, emotions, all of the powerful forces at play beneath the surface of the conscious mind are the Moon’s domain.
The Moon impacts our energy through subtle awareness of information that is not derived logically. As a symbol of the aspect of our consciousness which is awake during our conscious mind’s slumber, the Moon represents information derived through intuitive connection rather than our alert, logical, rational state.
Therefore we connect lunar energy to night time and sleep not only because of the Moon’s visibility being greater at this time, but also because she represents the awareness within ourselves which awakens when our conscious, left brain functions are resting. When our focus shifts from the realm of the literal to that of the symbolic.
In Tarot the Moon card represents the power of emotion and the subconscious mind and primal instincts. This card often portrays a combination of wolf, dog and lobster standing by the water under a full moon. The dog represents our tame, domesticated and socially refined self while the wolf reminds us of our wild, untamed nature. The lobster emerging from the water represents our ability to delve into the deeper layers of subconscious wisdom beneath the surface of our logical minds and conscious awareness.
The Moon card in Tarot, like the moon herself, reminds us that things aren’t always what they appear to be. The true nature of a situation may only be revealed gradually, as the moon’s growing light through the course of the month illuminates the night sky incrementally. In this way the moon is associated with gradual revelation. Just as in the case of accessing intuition, information is revealed in stages, through subtle cues or emotional tugs in one direction or another.
Dreams are one of the many vehicles through which intuitive information is transferred. The association between dreams, sleep and nocturnal energy also correspond to the power of the moon. Like the shadows cast by the light of the moon, dreams can be vague or illusory. All is not as it may first seems. Images can morph and the impossible becomes possible. These are all phenomenon associated with the moon’s changeable nature.
Dreams also reveal important information from the subconscious. In this way they correspond to the moon as illuminator of hidden depths within. You may notice your dreams become more vivid or prophetic depending on the phase of the moon and her transits to the sun or other key points such as the natal north node, Neptune or Pluto.
Keeping a dream diary which includes the phases of the Moon and her aspect to important points in your natal chart can help you determine when your dreams are revealing karmic information or presenting illusions which must be challenged.
When the full Moon is in water signs like Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces, you may feel the impact of the lunar energy on an intense emotional level. In Cancer, you may feel compelled to address matters of home and family life. Your intuition and emotions are guiding you and you may have a shrewd sense of business. Intuitively guided ideas related to finances and family are likely. Pay attention to dreams pertaining to these areas.
When the Moon is full in Scorpio, your intuition is helping you to discern deeper truths. You are being guided to separate facts from feelings. You may feel edgy or suspicious of others. Your dreams will help you probe deeper beneath the surface. When the Moon is full in Pisces, you may be guided to pursue spiritual and creative endeavors. At this time be aware of guidance through dreams helping you navigate through confusing situations. Illusions may also be revealed at this time.
The magnetic pull of the Moon on water, the element associated with emotions, reflects the power of this luminary on our psychological and emotional states. The Moon reveals what is hidden, you may find that you are prone to reacting emotionally to partial truths or matters not fully revealed under some aspects of the Moon to your Natal Moon or Natal Sun.
Our language connects Lunar energy to psychological states that are irrational. This may because conventional thinking devalues intuitive and emotional information.
Emotions are cyclical like the Moon as well and so this reminds us that even deep emotional states are transient. The movement of the Moon and transits to other planets and key points in the natal chart signal how we deal with emotional matters, nurturing, relationships with motherhood and mother figures as well as our sense of security.
Emotions are linked to sleep cycles for some obvious reasons. When emotionally triggered, it is likely we will lose sleep ruminating over fears and insecurities. When we are disturbed emotionally, our sleep is likely to be disturbed as well.
When emotionally excited or filled with creative energy, we may feel we require less sleep than normal. Other types of emotional disturbances can affect sleep. For some, depression leads to increase in sleep and fatigue while for others, depression results in disruptions in sleep, including insomnia and early waking. The Moon’s effect on emotional cycles can dredge up intense feelings, insecurities and fears all of which can impair sleep.
Sleep serves many functions including helping the body heal and regenerate. In addition sleep provides space through dreams for intuitive information to surface without the interference of the logical conscious mind. When the Moon is at challenging aspects to your natal Sun, you may find that emotional issues surface which make sleep difficult. Pay attention to dreams which may be leading you in a new direction.