Detected March 13, 1781 by William Herschel, a professional musician whose hobby was astronomy, Uranus is the first of the “modern” planets. It’s discovery coincided closely with the time of the great American and French Revolutions. Society switched abruptly from monarchy to democracy. For more than 100 years, the planet was called “Herschel” after its discoverer, a ruggedly individualistic man acknowledged as father of sidereal astronomy.
The planet has an 84 year cycle which, according to some esotericists, should be the bare minimum duration of a human life. It takes that long, at least, to individualize fully, to become a completely matured human capable of beginning to exercise free will in any true, meaningful sense of the word.
It is the impulse within that tells us to seek our freedom in the unknown, for the known alone is to be dreaded; the infinite space “beyond the pale” is to be embraced.
Uranian people of all ages “toddle to the beat of a different drum” and waltz to the melody of a distant hum which only they can hear.
They have qualities of uniqueness, genius, and unusual abilities. They seem to be rather distinct and different, and are often quite eccentric.
Uranus awakens us to the truths that set us free. It is the lightening bolt illuminating the mind, shattering outgrown, stifling social structures and belief systems and bringing sudden, shocking changes.
Because it is the “awakener,” it is the insomnia planet. It is spasmodic, and like the muscle contractions and spasms that evict us from the womb, it casts us out of the protected state of the norms agreed upon by social consensus. Like the chick which has pecked its way through the shell and broken out of the egg, there is no possibility of going back once Uranus has struck. In terms of religion, once a person sees and knows the truths underlying all religions, he cannot in all honesty embrace any one faith. For in possession of direct knowledge, he has gone far beyond the reach of institutions that demand mere belief.
Those with a prominent Uranus in the birth chart are not strangers to the exhilarating, mind altering influence of this energy. It is rather like an extraordinarily revved-up Mercury, which, faster than the speed of light, and in rapid fire succession, presents visions of possibilities and clear conclusions which may take weeks or longer to work out in terms of slow, step-by-step, linear logic. Pure Uranian thought goes directly from Point A to Point Z, yet is always, in the final Mercurial/Saturnian analysis, logical; unlike the Neptunian feeling based intuitional perception.
Uranians exalt in shaking people up by showing them the truth and proving it. But they need to be ready to run, for Saturn’s “sleeping dogs” get very nasty when they are awakened by having the rug pulled out from under them, their institutions and vested interests. Today’s Uranian scientist, a brilliant “star” in his or her twenties with freshly discovered, revolutionary theories will be tomorrow’s “successful” director of research threatened by and resentful of “uppity” newcomers whose new theories may blow his work, ideas and reputation into oblivion.
Uranians are about as easy to ignore as a flashing strobe light. For they tend often to have a dazzling brilliance, a charisma and electricity about them. People are both attracted and repelled by them, often simultaneously. Their sometimes flagrant eccentricity is offensive to more Saturnian types, for there is more than a touch of arrogance and defiance to their personalities.
They are not going to try to be nice, to fit in and to belong. They do not give a hoot what you think of them (they suspect you cannot think anyway!), and they let that show. Even when and if they do try to behave, there is an abruptness about their manner that is often mistaken for rudeness. They switch on and off like electric lights. They will shine their brilliance at you for a moment, then switch off and shine at someone else; you feel suddenly left in the dark. All the same, there is an aura of democratic friendliness about them. They have a way of looking at you that makes you feel you have known them all your life, that they are a friend, always have been, and always will be.
Uranus is unpredictable. There is no astrologer in the world who can predict what will happen with transits of this planet, only that whatever it is, it will be surprising. Uranians are hard to read for as well, for there is no knowing when they will choose to step out of the line of direction of the probable karmic pattern. What can be said when Uranus goes over an angle or planet, is that a particular area of life will be highly energized and that whatever happens, it may be upsetting, perhaps shocking, new and different, with awakenings to different levels of perception and experience.
*Picture by Christina Balit
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.