It’s November, and we are cauldron-deep in the season of the witch.
The days are darkening, and the clocks have turned back, giving us another hour of sleep from the ephemeral savings bank of nod. But what’s meant to be a restful boon to some may be an extension of nightmares for others.
The sleep-centric folk at MattressNextDay have conducted an extensive analysis of over 279,750 dream-related searches to uncover dream themes and the frequency of nightmares (great synth metal band name BTW).
Martin Seeley, the CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay, relates, “When the seasons change and the clocks go back, our internal body clocks must adapt to a new nightly routine. As the days become shorter and darkness descends earlier, our melatonin production, the hormone responsible for sleep, increases. This adjustment can influence the frequency and vividness of our dreams.”
Spooky season = nightmare spike?
Add to the Morpheus mix that the changing of the seasons and the added fabric of the cloak of night coincide with Scorpio season, the zodiac’s memento mori, a time of reflection, shadow work and ancient celebrations that honor the cycles of life and death and the gravitational pull of the unknown.
Not to mention that we are inundated with horror imagery during this most wonderful time of the year, from masked murderers to killer clowns, the creeping sounds of rusted playgrounds, and the bleak visage of fallow fields.
As Seeley maintains, “Understanding the meanings behind our dreams can offer profound insights into our inner worlds. While this month brings changes in sleep patterns and dream frequencies, it also presents an opportunity to explore the mysteries of our own minds.”
These dreams go on
Dreaming is a universal experience. Each night, in the different stages of sleep, we dream up to six times for a total run time of up to 2 hours.
We forget many of our most vivid dreams, a consequence of the neurochemical conditions present during REM sleep.
The Scientific American reports that the more beautiful, bizarre or disturbing the dream, the more likely we are to recall it in our waking life — those visions increase activity in our dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a region of the brain that builds memory.
From its analysis, MattressNextDay revealed the 10 dreams most likely to haunt us long after we shake the sleep from our eyes. Inbaal Honigman, celebrity psychic, power Pisces and dream analyst, has provided her interpretation of these common dream themes.
1. Teeth falling out
While teeth are technically the province of Capricorn, loss, growth, and endings are the domain of Scorpio, who teaches us, as this dream does, that with every death we are given new breath, every lost tooth a new opportunity to evolve.
Honigman imparts, “Teeth are a sign of life’s ages and stages. We are born with none, go through two sets in childhood and adulthood, and start to lose them again in old age. Therefore, dreaming about losing teeth symbolizes loss, like leaving a relationship behind or even moving house.”
For those struggling with fear and anxiety related to death and aging, a death meditation practice may pave the way to peace and a peaceful night’s sleep.
“Many pregnancy dreams are simply predictive dreams. Parents-to-be dream of their pregnancy even before the home pregnancy kit turns pink, and it’s common to see your baby’s gender or predict the date of birth correctly. Beyond fertility, pregnancy in a dream can represent a new business idea or a creative project,” Honigman says.
Sleep visions of pregnancy can be a dream for some and a nightmare for others, especially given the grim state of reproductive rights in America.
Yet, in any interpretation, pregnancy in the land of nod indicates gestation, the potency of potential, and the power of rebirth — all tenets of the Scorpio archetype.
Spiders represent divine feminine intuition and hard-won wisdom, the pay dirt of the “suspicion is my birthright” Scorpio.
Honigman explains, “Dreaming of spiders often represents a need to confront your fears and insecurities head-on. Just like spiders face the challenge of creating and maintaining their webs with precision, you are being prompted to tackle your life challenges with resilience and determination. Pay attention to the details in your dreams for more specific insights into your unique situation.”
Face your fears, trust your gut, and don’t ignore the red flags, folks.
As Scorpio rules the eighth house of death, and Scorpio season coincides with the end of the harvest and the thinning of the veil between the living and the dead, ghosts tend to populate our imagination and haunt our dreams during this time.
Seeley, of MattressNextDay, says, “Ghostly apparitions are often the effect of a sleep disorder called sleep paralysis. We move through different stages of sleep through the night. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is when we dream. We’re also paralyzed at this stage, so that we don’t act our dreams out. But sometimes we can partially wake, experiencing hallucinations but struggling to move. It can be terrifying, but it does explain why you could ‘see’ a person or figure near your bed or in your room and also feel unable to move.”
Falling asleep sometimes takes on a literal meaning and a shocking sensation.
Seeley reports, “When you dream of falling, this is actually a physiological reaction to the body going to sleep. As the nervous systems begin to calm, and your heart rate and blood pressure drop, this can trigger a falling dream, otherwise known as a ‘hypnic jerk.’ The movements can be minor but sometimes, they’re violent enough to wake you up. These sudden movements typically last only a second or two, but they can be quite startling if you’re not expecting them. While they’re not a dream, if they happen a lot, they’re a metaphorical nightmare as they disrupt your sleep.”
Akin (or kindling) to Scorpio, fire is a symbol of destruction and purification — and absolutely not to be f—ed with.
As Honigman explains, “To dream of fire can mean many things. It can symbolize passion, light, destruction, anger and more. The trick to working out what your fire dream means is to look at the rest of the dream. If you were unafraid of the fire, then it could be a reference to your own internal fire. Your views and opinions could be changing, bringing forth a renewal of self. If you are burned by fire, it indicates that your temper is raging, and you are ‘burning up inside.’”
Let it out and let it rage and let it go, my babies.
7. Hair falling out
Among the animal totems associated with Scorpio is the serpent, and just as the snake must shed its skin in order to grow, so too does losing hair represent a transition from what has been to what will be.
Because hair is such a prime indicator of vitality and identity, the loss of it can signal a shift in selfhood.
Honigman reveals, “Losing hair in a dream can symbolize concerns about aging, stress, or feeling out of control. It’s a reflection of your inner thoughts and anxieties about physical appearance and self-image.”
8. Getting lost
“To dream of being lost can invoke feelings of frustration, not fitting in, and confusion. If you have a situation in your waking life where you are anxious that you may not find your way, these dreams can help you find direction. It can also be a dream for those grieving, a way to process the loss of a person, or part of yourself that is missing,” explains Honigman.
Astrology 101: Your guide to the star
9. Being cheated on
It tracks that dreams of treachery spike during Scorpio season, as the eighth sign in the zodiac is associated with sex, suspicion, shadowy behavior and investigative energy.
Scorpio fears betrayal above all other injuries — often this fear manifests as jealousy, possessiveness and accusations based on feelings rather than facts, or dreams rather than deeds.
“One of the most upsetting love-related dreams one can have is where cheating occurs. The sense of betrayal, shame and hopelessness that go along with infidelity can ruin a good night’s sleep. If you dream of an ex-partner cheating, you might be trying to make sense of the split,” notes Honigman.
“You could be worried that their loyalty was never for you, and you may be suspicious that they were cheating in real life too. Or if you dream of your current partner cheating on you, this dream shows your own insecurities rather than any unfaithful thoughts about your partner.”
“Drowning in a dream is often a fear of losing yourself in some way. Whether this is from being overwhelmed by work, a relationship issue, or stress, there’s the fear of ‘drowning’ under the weight of emotions and being unable to handle or process them. Even if you’re not in turmoil, simply dealing with life’s daily struggles and trying to survive as a well-functioning human being in today’s society is enough to induce these dreams,” explains Honigman.
Remember, now and always, to come up for air, set clear boundaries, listen to your intuition, look to your dreams for keys, and honor the needs of your animal body.
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.