Sunday, June 12, 2011

What is Uranus?

A couple of years ago I got myself a projector and screen. After years of not watching films, since then I've hardly stopped. So I thought I'd begin with my recommended list from the last few weeks: The Wave; Tetro; A Single Man; Broken Embraces; The White Ribbon; Little Miss Sunshine; Lars and the Real Girl; Pierrepoint; An Education.
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are well known to astrologers as Greek/Roman gods. Uranus is the Greek name for the Roman Caelus, while Neptune and Pluto are the Roman names for the Greek gods Poseidon and Hades respectively.

As gods, we can feel their influence. But being modern, we tend to locate the psyche within. And I have been wondering recently what ‘bits’ of the psyche these gods correspond to?

I landed Neptune and Pluto quite quickly, and wrote about them. But Uranus has taken longer, and even then was someone else’s idea around the dinner table!

These planets are not aspects of our personality like the inner planets are. We may sometimes be aware of them, but they are not a part of us – if anything, it is the other way round. Individualised consciousness is a temporary bubble carried along by the more fundamental, primordial forces that the outer planets represent.

Pluto is the life-force itself. Pluto gives the energy, that we usually take for granted, to go on living and to want to go on living. He gives us the ability to survive. He is also evolutionary: the nature of life is to continually unfold, to keep moving on to the next stage. We don’t know what that stage is – or we would be in it – but we feel the imperative to go there. So Pluto is both the life force and the mysterious pattern of unfoldment that is integral to life.

Neptune is the Imagination, which at its deepest level is the picture, the story that consciousness presents to itself about life. Beginning with subject and object, me in here and everything else out there. That itself is just a story we tell ourselves, which any mystic worth their salt will tell you is an illusion. But our brains are hard-wired that way, so it’s hard to jump out of. Then there are all the other stories like time and 3-D space and left and right. After that come the Creation Myths that tell us how we came about. And then the myths that tell us how to live. It’s Jupiter who tells these stories. But it is Neptune that is the mythopoeic imagination.

That leaves Uranus. He is the vital spark that got life and the universe going in the first place and keeps it moving from level to level. Mythologically, Neptune and Pluto have parents, while Uranus does not; he emerged from the primordial Chaos. So Uranus comes first. Uranus then Pluto then Neptune.

In the beginning was the Big Bang, but it was Uranus who sparked it off. In the beginning was the primordial soup of chemicals and oceans on earth. But it was a lightning bolt from Uranus that turned it into life - on the material level, anyway. Life, when it began, did so on many levels, each presided over by Uranus.

Imagine a firework. Uranus is the match on the touchpaper, Pluto is the gunpowder that takes it into the sky, and Neptune is the display it creates. Saturn is the ability to give material form to these principles, the bridge between human consciousness and the wider powers it is working with.

Uranus is integral to creativity. Creativity occurs when you come up with something that is not just an extension of something that has come before, but that contains a new element. For that you need the vital spark, the divine spark of Uranus.

Uranus is also integral to moving on from one stage of life to the next. For the individual, it is new; it may have been observed in others, but it has not been lived before by you. So it happens to you; you suddenly find yourself wanting to live, or having to live in a new way. You’ve been sparked!

You can’t will this to happen, any more than you can will yourself to want to be alive. It has to come from somewhere else, like all outer planet energies. But we have a big part to play in being open to these energies; in recognising that life is always moving on and looking in that direction.
We do also have the choice to shut down and keep repeating the same mistakes. Some people sort of seem to get away with that; with other people, it’s like the outer planets keep hammering them, they make life so painful that eventually you give in and say no more! I can’t carry on living like this!

At present, Uranus and Pluto are in square, with Uranus lagging just a bit behind. So there has been a particular process of transformation for people in recent years, where first of all you have Pluto and then you have Uranus. Pluto pulls you apart, gets you to confront your weaknesses and acknowledge your powers and real interests. Through Pluto we establish a new and more solid foundation. On that basis all sorts of new possibilities are there, and Uranus comes along and awakens them in the succeeding years.

We are now entering a period where Uranus and Pluto are almost exactly square, and this will make transformation almost unbearably intense. It will be like being in a barrel that someone is shaking vigorously in all directions (Uranus); meanwhile inside the barrel with us is a vampire chimpanzee intent on tearing us apart (Pluto). Actually, it’s easy to channel a hell-fire preacher when it comes to transits. So I take it back! But it will be/is intense.

In a few years’ time, Pluto will be lagging behind Uranus, and the dynamic will change again. Uranus will be preparing people for the Pluto transit, softening them up, if you like, opening them up to new possibilities so that the Pluto transit won’t be as disorienting when you find you can’t carry on in the same old ‘normal’ way.

I thought it might be worth a quick look at the Discovery Chart for Uranus, much as I have already done for Neptune, Pluto and Chiron in previous blogs. Uranus was discovered at a particular moment in time, and as an astrologer, that is significant; it tells us something about the particular meaning of Uranus for modern people.

Click to Enlarge

The time is accurate to within half an hour, so I won't make too much of the Angles. What I think is most notable is Uranus in Gemini in a t-square with Saturn in Sagittarius and the Sun in Pisces. As the divine spark, Uranus is associated with brilliance, and in Gemini, it is the brilliant intellect, the brilliant scientific mind: this was a time when the modern technological revolution was just beginning. But it is in opposition to Saturn in Sagittarius. Sagittarius gives a context of meaning, of philosophy, of religion to the intellectual curiosity of Gemini. All this in a traditional sense, as we are dealing with Saturn. So the lasting aspect in this chart shows a tension between traditional wisdom and scientific brilliance. Because Uranus was discovered under this aspect, it is like the gods telling us to pay attention to this theme, that it is an important one for the collective in relation to Uranus.

As it is an opposition, these 2 poles of the past (Saturn) and the future (Uranus) need to be brought together; their natural tendency is to polarise. So we see people who think Science is all bad; and more commonly, we see people who think religion and traditional wisdom has had its day and scientific understanding is the understanding to which all others must be reduced.

So there is a great lesson here, because I think people do tend to polarise in one direction or the other. This chart is saying we need both. We need our brilliant scientific/technological future - and at this stage, it may be only that that can save us! - but we need our roots, we need the wisdom of previous generations. One should not need to say that, it is so obvious. But Science has been so spectacular that I suppose it's kind of understandable.

I don't think we can ignore the Sun, around which Uranus revolves. It is in Pisces, a non-rational place that defies the usual expression of both Saturn and Uranus and the signs they are in. (Although, of course, the original vital spark of Uranus was in the oceans!) But it is as if that Sun is holding out 2 arms that end in Saturn and Uranus, which he is holding in balance/tension; or as if Saturn and Uranus are the outpourings of the original oneness of the Sun in Pisces, to which they again need to be resolved. It is as if the Sun is reminding us of what came first: the direct experience and sense of interconnectedness, unfragmented by mind, in the case of Uranus in Gemini; and not obscured by the veil of hallowed tradition, in the case of Saturn in Sagittarius.

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diastella said...

thanks for that divine spark. I am having my mid-life Uranus opposition now and so this lends brilliant insight to my journey - which is tricky, immense and pulsing with um something, wish I knew what. Of course there is a retrograde journey over this 4 degree Aries point with my north node just next to it. I have been thinking about the contradiction of Uranus being father sky and birthing our other heavy-weights and how ancient he is and yet he is associated with the future - then we look at the chart you have shown here and see the combination of (as u say) past traditional wisdom with future scientific Uranus is both ancient and futuristic. I am reading all this mythology and feel like I am in a very real computer game (like 'the gamer') - like all these titans and gods are returning to battle once more.

Barry Goddard said...

Natal Uranus opposite North Node: you need to be a mould-breaker in some way. Barack Obama has natal Uranus conjunct North Node.

Anonymous said...

Wrath be damned! I've compromised myself for far too long. I've just broke some moulds that have nearly smothered me. I will blame Uranus! Jenni-OMG

Anonymous said...

what in particular did you like about A Single Man?

Barry Goddard said...

The way the gay thing was presented in such a straightforward way, they weren't being experimental or daring about it, it was just like any relationship. And that was how Isherwood presented it, but decades earlier, which is quite remarkable. And of course Colin Firth helps.

Anonymous said...

I loved Lars and the Real Girl. A very subtle message movie about the power of healing through acceptance, and a community entering into the shamanic spirit of the journey for Lars.

Kenna J said...

Beautiful article, Dharmaruci. I loved it all, but the last paragraph was my favorite.

Alice Brown said...

Well i must say I have never came across such an awesome article explaining exactly what is Uranus. Thanks for the share...!!

syd said...

I just reread your articles on Neptune and Pluto, and what with this one on Uranus, wow. I actually got a feeling sense for these outer planets for the first time. Thank you for your earthy clear writing on very wooly subjects. Extremely helpful.