Planets in Astrology, Chapter 8. Uranus, the Great Awakener

“Uranus as seen from Oberon”, by Kevin Davies.

Already true to its Nature as planet of shock and surprise, Uranus was discovered completely by accident, in 1781, by Sir William Herschel; as the symbol of cutting-edge technology, it was also the first planet to be discovered through a telescope.
This “ice giant”, which also has the coldest planetary atmosphere in our solar system, embodies the most forward-looking, brainy and emotionally detached of all astrological energies, cutting through traditions and stereotypes to free us from ruts. Uranus is considered the higher octave of Mercury, planet of speech and mind: thus, it represents a much wider reach of human intellect, transcending the limitation of Ego and personality to embrace mankind as a whole, social trends, global dynamics. Uranus is the agent of change and revolution, and the bringer of freedom; with its odd axial tilt (its magnetic field is not centered on the center of the planet), this celestial body serves as the perfect spokesperson for the freak, the outsider, the rebel, and, in fact, it rules Aquarius, the nonconformist sign of the Zodiac.
Uranus is the only planet whose denomination is directly taken from Greek mythology, rather than the Roman corresponding deities like the other planets; its name is the Latinized version of Ouranos, the primal Greek god personifying the Sky. Its story is narrated in Hesiod’s Theogony, although, as we have seen, Greek myths largely draw from oriental influences. In this case, Ouranos’ tale of succession has antecedents in the Babylonian Enûma Eliš. In the Olympian creation myth, as told by Hesiod, Ouranos, the sky deity, was the son and mate of Gaia, mother earth. The two were parents to the first generation of Titans, who lacked a distinct personality, as we have already seen in the previous chapter when speaking of Saturn. The same could be said for Uranus itself, and this accounts for the fact that astrologically speaking, Uranus is a transpersonal (and not personal, as for instance Venus or Mars) planet.  Maybe the most transpersonal of all planets, since it rules collectives, clubs, societies, circles and also any group that adheres to progressive, humanitarian, radical ideals.
Gaia bore Ouranos’ children, but he imprisoned them in Tartarus, deep within the Earth. Therefore, she asked her sons to castrate Ouranos. As we have read in the previous chapter, it was Kronos (Saturn), the most ambitious, who took up this task: he ambushed his father, castrating him with a sickle, and cast his testicles into the sea. Divorced from passions and erotic impulses (as the allegory of castration suggests), Uranus, beside being transpersonal, is also impersonal: its philanthropic ideas of equality spring from intellectual reasoning rather than heartfelt empathy.
Other than this tale, Ouranos didn’t have much in the way of mythology, and no cult addressed directly to him survived into Classical times. Uranus is one of the outermost planets (the 7th from the Sun), and so its effect is felt more generationally than subjectively. Since this planet moves so slowly (its complete cycle through all the twelve signs takes about 84 years), an entire generation can share the same Uranus Sign. People in our same age group share the same modality of expression of Uranian energy by sign – so, as far as the individual Chart of a person is concerned, Uranus’ position by House is more relevant in the Life of the Chart-holder.
Transits from Uranus never leave us where they find us; this cosmic principle balances the restrictive force of Saturn by keeping the Universe flexible and dynamic, preventing an excess of order. Uranus is the agent of mutation that perpetuates Life. Its androgynous energy is electric, erratic, opposing established structures and favoring innovation, originality and novelty. As the higher octave of Mercury, Uranus rules communication in the contemporary age, enabled through unusual means; as the planet of electricity, it also rules waves and radiations of all kinds. Astrology, and, I believe, sociology, are also under its rulership.
The upheaval brought by this planet is meant to take us on the Path to liberation.

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