Somnium is Latin for dream: it gives rise to words like insomnia, somnolent and somnambulate aka ‘can’t sleep’, ‘drowsy’ and ‘sleepwalking’. It’s also one of the brand names for a controversial sedative – lorazepam – a Nintendo game and an ultra-sci-fantastical occult lit novel by Steve Moore.
“…Written in the early years of the 21st century, when the author was engaged in dream-explorations and mystical practices centred on the Greek moon-goddess Selene, Somnium is an intensely personal and highly-embroidered fictional tapestry that weaves together numerous historical and stylistic variations on the enduring myth of Selene and Endymion. Ranging through the 16th to 21st centuries, it combines mediæval, Elizabethan, Gothic and Decadent elements in a fantastic romance of rare imagination….”
It’s also the title of an amazing book published in the early 1600s by the renowned Capricorn mathematician, genius, scientist and astrologer to the Emperor of Prague, Johannes Kepler.
Widely deemed the first work of science fiction, this Somnium features space travel, Moon demons and witches. It naturally attracted the attention of the Catholic Church who promptly tried his mother – a herbalist – for witchcraft. It was especially stressful as the woman who raised her had been burned at the stake as a witch.
“…The story is the tale of Duracotus, who was the son of an Icelandic witch named Fiolxhilda. During his youth she banished Duracotus to Denmark for five years. Upon his return, she decided to share some of her secrets with him. She explained that her instructor had been a demon who dwelt on the Moon. During a Solar Eclipse, the lunar demons were able to travel between the Earth and the Moon via a bridge of darkness. The son decided he wanted to make this journey, and so he was transported to the Moon by demons…
To ease his journey he was given a drowsing draught and moist sponges to hold under his nose. He was carried to the point of neutral gravity between the Earth and Moon, then allowed to drift down to the lunar surface. Thus the author understood some of the effects of gravity and the need for environmental protection above the atmosphere…”
Imagine how this would have gone down in the 1600s! People were truly stunned by it. Kepler, btw, had Neptune Rising in Gemini.
There is also Somnium the album – a seven hour long melodic sleep spell by ambient musician Robert Rich:
“…It is a seven-hour album on a DVD-video and is based on Rich’s sleep concert series of the early 1980’s. Like those concerts, the music on this album was composed to influence the dreams and pre-REM hypnogogic visions of the listener. For this purpose it is suggested that the volume be kept down to the threshold of perceptibility, ideally with speakers surrounding the listener’s bed. Rich also recommends this album for conventional listening. It has been estimated that this is the longest single piece of music ever committed to a commercially recorded format…”
Rich is a Leo, with the Sun conjunct Mercury and Lilith conjunct Neptune in Scorpio.
The Somnium concept is super-Haute Neptune, don’t you think? Thoughts?