For today’s New Moon, we’re going to explore the Sagittarian themes of higher learning and exploration through the moonlit lens of fantasy.
In particular, we’re going to take one of your fantasies (or “waking dreams”) and decode its messages, which pinpoint where your soul wants to expand and grow. Along the way, we’ll see how this process can help you disentangle from frustrating relationship dynamics, too.
For years, I had a running fantasy about being famous.
Through the rose-colored lens of make believe, I was a sought-after author whose novels were eagerly anticipated by critics and readers alike, and Netflix was pounding down my door with TV-show offers, like, every other week.
And for years, I was too embarrassed to explore what these fantasies might mean. I’d brush them aside as mere vanity with a self-deprecating chuckle. “How silly!”
Well, one morning, after a crappy night’s sleep, I felt like a floating head–too scattered and unfocused to work. I was experiencing what Jung would have called abaissement du niveau mental, a state in which my conscious control was loosened, thinning the veil between known and unknown.
From this relaxed vantage point, I decided, finally, to simply watch my thoughts as they unspooled into daydream, just as if they were a film and I couldn’t wait to see where the mystery led, what it revealed about the characters, and how it all ended.
And what I learned surprised the heck out of me.
All of the fantasy scenarios clustered around a single theme: I was effortlessly moving through social interactions with zero awkwardness, always with that perfect quip at the ready, knowing just how to transition from witty, surface-level banter to a more intimate connection.
In real life, I’m adept at deeper conversations; that’s my comfort zone–talking about feelings, exploring hidden meanings, and unpacking why we humans behave the ways that we do.
But the often necessary small talk that paves the way to those heartier conversations? That, at times, can feel like a minefield of uncomfortable silences punctuated by nervous chattering and my foot ending squarely in my mouth.
Can’t we just skip all the small talk and get to the good stuff?
Well, that’s precisely what my fantasy was attempting to do–grant me access to an imaginary world where the friction of the present no longer existed, where I possessed longed-for skills and a practiced confidence without any effort expended or risk of failure.
But here’s the thing:
Becoming famous, in and of itself, doesn’t solve the problem of social awkwardness. If anything, it just gives me more opportunities to be socially awkward, and on a much more visible scale–yippee!
Fantasies, like our nighttime dreams, can point to gaps in our growth and learning, spots where we’ve skipped a crucial step or three; where, perhaps, we didn’t receive any support or guidance growing up. We were expected to somehow figure it out on our own, to hurry up and become a skillful adult in miniature.
Had I continued to ignore these fantasies, I never would have learned that, actually, fame was a shorthand for “be less socially awkward.” And should I have pursued fame without realizing this, what a massive bummer if I found out, after all that effort, I was still awkward AF!
Wherever you go, there you are…
But thanks to the insights hidden in plain sight, parading through my fantasies on a regular basis, I now knew that I wanted to build my small-talk skills.
Instead of trying to achieve that through a totally circuitous route (i.e. becoming famous)…
…I could adopt a more direct path, like reading the book Better Small Talk and practicing the techniques.
Or working with my inner parts to feel more internally supported and less anxious in social situations. (If you want to learn how to work with your inner parts, I walk you through this, step-by-step, in Get Free: A Course in Setting Boundaries.)
Or talking to my therapist about these awkward dynamics.
Any of those would be more attuned to the actual issue (and, um, way easier) than “get famous.”
I said earlier that we’d connect all of this to frustrating relationship dynamics:
When we’re attempting to circumvent growth through fantasy, we often seek out those undeveloped qualities in others. And nine times out of ten, when we find it, we unknowingly create an energetic cord, tethering us to this person.
In my case, I did this for years with a family member whom I’ll call Jensen. Give them ten minutes, and Jensen would be besties with everyone in the room. In my eyes, they were a social genius.
Rather than learning how to develop my own social skills, I unknowingly tried to experience them vicariously through Jensen, which gave them an awful lot of power in my psyche. While this is a topic too detailed to cover here, I break it down (and show you how to untangle yourself) in Relationship Reset.
Suffice it to say, avoiding the work our soul came here to learn always makes things more difficult in the end–and often the beginning and the middle, too! It makes us dependent on others in a way that supplants genuine connection with codependency and anxious enmeshment, and it keeps us feeling not good enough and fearful of life’s challenges.
With that, let’s take a look at one of your fantasies and see what your soul wants to learn!
Over the next two weeks (so, between now and when you get my Full Moon email–you can subscribe at the bottom of this post), journal your fantasies, ideally as soon as possible upon having them.
Capture as many details as you can, even if they initially seem irrelevant. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing and why? How do you feel while you’re doing it?
After two weeks, read over your fantasy entries, and tap into your intuition: Is there a common theme?
As you muse on this theme and read over your entries, journal on how the fantasy scenarios differ from your current life. Is there something you’re able to do or a way you’re able to feel in the fantasy that doesn’t seem readily accessible in the present?
What skills or qualities do you possess in this fantasy world? How do they compare to your current skills and qualities?
Do you notice any discrepancies between the fantasy outcome and how you’re trying to get there, such as what I discovered in my fame daydream, where I erroneously believed fame would magically eliminate all social awkwardness?
Other examples include believing that if you make a million dollars, you suddenly won’t care what people think about you, or if you have a romantic partner, you’ll automatically feel self-confident and know what you want to do with your life.
As you identify what you possess in the fantasy world, brainstorm what you might do now, in the present, to cultivate those skills and qualities. Is there someone you can reach out to for help, like a therapist or teacher? Is there a book or other resource that speaks to your soul’s learning objective?
Then, take your first step.
Make an appointment with the therapist. Start reading the book. Begin to translate the energy of the endlessly just-out-of-reach fantasy into the tangible here and now.
This is a powerful act of magic, because you’re melding the purposiveness and direction of the conscious mind with the vast power of your unconscious depths.
What happens when you do this? Pay attention; look for synchronicities and clues. Don’t be surprised if doors materialize in formerly impenetrable brick walls and opportunities suddenly seem to appear “out of nowhere.”
Happy New Moon.