The discovery of Uranus around March 13th, 1781 must have been somewhat of a shock to the existing astronomical and astrological fraternity of the day. Up to that point only the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn had been acknowledged. Its discovery and subsequent acceptance by the scientific community coincided with an incredible revolution in technology and science. Having an aerial as its glyph or symbol is a testimony to the progressive things Uranus stands for.
The emergence of Uranus in the consciousness of man simultaneously coincided with the earlier discovery of electricity and the broader research orientated scientific methodologies. Though the Royal Astronomer, John Flamsteed, had identified a celestial body on several occasions between 1690 and 1715, it was Herschel who is credited with its discovery. Interestingly Herschel was a musician, not an astronomer.
Considering its distance of 1,782 million miles from the Sun, its discovery at this time is significant and seems to reflect the rapid advancement of society from that point on. Its symbol in fact also represents the mythical Thor and in some Vedic circles, Lord Indra, God of Lightning, as its presiding deity. This allocation is to some astrologers arbitrary and due to its slow cycle of approximately 84 years, is still speculative.
Astrologers assign Uranus to the New Age zodiac sign of Aquarius and suggest it is the upper harmonic of Mercury. If Mercury governs intelligence, Uranus is considered the refined and more intuitive and intellectual faculties within us. This is a superior form of intelligence, somewhat related to the psychic faculties of man, but not purely so, as this is the work of Neptune. Nevertheless, the sign of Aquarius governs what we call the Age of Man and the higher rational processes in man. On a physical level it represents the nervous system and though Aquarius is predominantly an air sign, the fire element also has an influence on this planet esoterically.
Uranus the Reformer
The general principles of Uranus govern change – abrupt, radical and unexpected change as opposed to gradual and foreseen modifications. Sociologically, due to this sudden quality associated with it, revolutions and all sorts of reform are linked to Uranus. On a more personal level, those people born under Aquarius, or under Uranus’ influence will be rebels - with or without a cause, and at some level in their lives are working towards a progressive and world-shattering change in their environments. The movement of the planet Uranus through the different signs of the zodiac gives vastly different effects, although still retaining its inherent ground-breaking nature.
The complete cycle of Uranus through the twelve signs takes approximately 84 years - nearly the same duration as the average human life span. Being one of the three outer planets including Neptune and Pluto, it is considered a transpersonal planet yet due to this 84 year span acts personally too. Unlike Neptune and Pluto whose cycles are much longer, some individuals experience the return of Uranus to their natal position. Speaking of the lifecycles, there are some astrologers who believe the quarter, half and three-quarter cycles of Uranus have relevance to our personal development. At 21 years of age, we witness the transition from teenage years to full adulthood, a time when responsibility and the approaching duties of family life are thrust upon us. At around age 42 the dreaded “mid-life crisis” is associated with the half-circuit of Uranus. And when the three-quarter cycle of age 63 occurs, many consider retirement from working life. In respect of these critical years of development there seems to be a correlation between Uranus and its effect on us as at these critical stages. The vast majority of humanity may not see the full return of Uranus, yet for some, the return would signal an important spiritual revelation and reflect the notion that human life is indeed finite and there is something beyond this material human process. These life changes are in themselves revolutionary and impact on our perception of the world and ourselves.
Uranus in the Signs
Depending on which sign of the zodiac Uranus is found at birth, its influence will indicate the manner in which the soul can progress in life and what unusual or progressive work each of us will endeavour to manifest in this incarnation. The continuing theme, of course, is freedom and defying the limitations of one’s social and historic structure, but most importantly, the way in which we are able to free ourselves from the constraints of our Karmic limitations. Each individual is born with specific samskaras or past life impressions and it is the job of Uranus to assist us in breaking down these patterns through the process of change – at times radically so. Therefore, Uranus helps liberate us and can assist in revealing who we are by removing external and internal blocks that are holding us back from attaining our true spiritual potential.
Uranus moved through Aries in its most recent transit in April 1927 where it stayed until June 1934. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and informs us that Aries’ independent, freedom-loving spirit is strongly accentuated by the electrical Uranus here. These are courageous, resourceful and somewhat domineering personalities and if other negative planets or aspects influence this sector, the person may even be violent and unstable. People of this period underwent some significant changes socially as a result of the Great Depression. These transformations in society no doubt had an impact on the psyche of that generation.
As Saturn moved through the sign of Taurus, the concepts of business money and material values on the whole were drastically affected and people born with Uranus here (June 1934 to May 1942) would take a very special interest in finance, economics and unusual ways in which money can be used. They are highly inventive in the way they use their financial resources and also enjoy the speculative side of money but unfortunately, that premature or spontaneous energy of Uranus may not always give them the success they look for. The spiritual action of Uranus beckons them to look beyond the material basis of fulfillment to the deeper values which can only be found within oneself.
Uranus entered the sign of Gemini in May 1942 and continued its transit there until September 1948. As Gemini is an intellectual air sign the mechanics of thinking are strongly influenced by the New Age Uranus and gives those born at this time a quick-thinking and scientific nature. As many will attest, Gemini is not fixed, a mutable sign leading to inconstancy. People born with this combination should work on calming their nerves and systematically work through their ideas to a logical conclusion without scattering their energies.
Under the influence of a Cancerian Uranus that occurred between September 1948 and September 1955 the emotional nature of society was quickly accelerated. The water signs such as Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces indicate a deeper emotional response that has a psychic component to it and therefore there was a quickening of ESP and subtle senses within man at this time. Those born with Uranus in Cancer have a deep and sensitive intuition with foresight, but also need to break with their cultural past and explore new cultures and faraway places. Sudden changes in their home lives are quite notable and much migration and change of residence also started to occur in the Western World throughout this period.
From September 1955 through to August 1962 Uranus continued its trek through the zodiac in the sign of Leo and produced a generation comprising of radical enterprise and supremely determined individuals. This was the generation in which the new love and freedom in expression started to dominate society in the West. Under Uranus in Leo people seek freedom of expression in art, music, drama, theatre and for that matter in the way they communicate their ideas socially. The risk here is intellectual pomposity and an inflexible attitude to receiving ideas of a more conservative nature. If these individuals can maintain open-mindedness alongside their bold and aggressive concepts, great things can be achieved by them throughout their lives.
In the period of August 1962 to June 1969 the prudent and virginal sign of Virgo was shaken up by the transit of Uranus. Great strides have been made in computer technology, health and other work practices throughout the cycle of Uranus in this sign and those born throughout this period are also likely to exhibit the inventive qualities coupled with work and service. Many new vocations and types of work are likely to emanate from the consciousness of these people and new attitudes to human resources within the workplace will be pioneered by them. Modern forms of healing and medical technology have sprung up and this also indicates a need for those having Uranus in Virgo to watch their own health and maintain, in particular, the health of their nerves which could be a flashpoint for them.
When Uranus entered into Libra towards the end of June 1969 it continued there until November 1974 and this placement heralded many unusual shifts in the consciousness in love and relationships. The way people viewed love and the social etiquette surrounding relationships generally underwent a notable transformation. The very structure of marriage has changed dramatically since then with the bonds not being quite so formal as they were prior to that. De facto relationships have become more commonplace and this has been due to the motion of Uranus in the 7th sign of Libra. Those born with Uranus in Libra have an experimental and freedom loving approach where marriage and one on one relationships are concerned. They will be challenged at some point in their lives to seek to create at least some necessary boundaries in which to operate on this level.
When Uranus entered into the mysterious, eighth sign of the zodiac Scorpio in November 1974, the sexual and spiritual consciousness of the world changed. The transit in the sign of Scorpio continued all the way up to the third week of February 1981 and represented a deeper psychic progression for humankind at that time. Some astrologers cite Scorpio as the exaltation sign of Uranus or what would be considered its high point in the zodiac. As Scorpio is the sign of death and regeneration (see Pluto, its ruler), people will be preparing for the coming of the New Age which is represented by Uranus. Death in this sense relates to the old way of doing thing, the old manner of seeing things, the antiquated ways of relating and even refers to the traditional methods of viewing ourselves in relation to the Universe. In short, everything will begin to change at this time and those born during this period will want to express their unusual ideas for reforming the world as they reach maturity. The sign of Scorpio is notorious for its emotional response and therefore those having Uranus here can be almost ruthless in demanding that their feelings and ideas be heard and acted upon. This could indeed be a weak point for those with this placement.
The sign of Sagittarius represents the philosophical ideals that we aspire to and when Uranus entered Sagittarius in February 1981 many of our religious views and philosophies started to undergo transformation. It continued in its transit there up until December 1988. A fanatical attitude could be elicited by the placement of Uranus here in the sign of religion and philosophy yet those having a balanced view could actually develop new fields of understanding for the greater community. A pioneering vision in the way they present their principles to the world around them is indicated. They are true luminaries and are able to pragmatically combine philosophy and science thereby creating a new practical occultism which will propel our society forward into the future. Dogmatism has to be avoided by those born with Uranus in Sagittarius.
In December 1988 when Uranus entered Capricorn radical and unexpected shifts were occurring at that time, particularly in the global financial markets which culminated in financial losses of the late 80’s as you will recall. Uranus maintained its presence in the sign of Capricorn until leaving there in April 1995 and just like the other earth sign of Taurus, had a marked impact on the value system of not only society as a whole but the individuals born at that time. The people born during this period will continue to exert their influence on the commercial and economic structures of the world as they mature. They have very strong ambitions and are dedicated and resolute in attaining their material ambitions. They must be careful not to put material values before their spiritual interests.
From April 1995, Uranus transited through its own sign, Aquarius until March 2003. These newborns of the last few years will usher in the golden age of Aquarius and are possessed with a deep longing to make those changes in our world which will herald the beginning of the true universality of humanity. People born in this period through their deep commitment to social and cultural reform will spearhead the way for humanity into the long awaited Age of Aquarius.
Along with this talent for social and humanitarian reform we mustn’t forget the intellectual and scientific quality of the sign of Aquarius and these people will also excel in making great strides in the technological spheres. Of course the motivation for these advances will be less material than spiritual but the aerial symbol of Uranus reminds us that what is above can be transmitted to what is below. Their spiritual ideals will be made practical, and therefore useful by all.
The current transit of Uranus through the sign of Pisces is significant and particularly for those born at this time between the period of March 2003 until March 2011. The people appearing throughout this period are indeed blessed as Pisces is the final sign in the evolutionary spiral of the zodiac and indicates the completion of the soul’s journey through many incarnations. These people continue their journey with a view to assisting others to break free of the past and this indeed makes them unique in their spiritual and mystical power as well as their healing abilities. The individual born during this period deeply aspires to connect with the highest spiritual identity within their nature and it is quite within their ability to do so on an individual and collective level as well.
In the horoscope we seek the revelations of Uranus in the sense that it can free us from the shackles of our own past and those personal and societal limitations that bind and obstruct us from moving forward as free-thinking individuals in this world. The placement of Uranus by sign at the time of our birth and in concert with the other planets’ is a reflection of a unique cosmic symphony. It reflects to us those areas in which we may both be limited and yet how and where we may be freed. Ultimately freedom though, is a state of mind, a state of being in harmony with ourselves and our environment and so therefore Uranus exhorts us to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven within.