Meditation on Uranus

by C.M. Hafeman ©2004-09

The planet Uranus is considered the first true outer planet as one moves towards the limits of the solar system, followed by Neptune and Pluto. In astrology these three planets have been termed "transpersonal" or symbolic of natural and social-collective forces operating seemingly beyond control of the individual. But some modern interpretations acknowledge that outer planet energies do also operate at a personal level, especially when one or more of them is in hard aspect with one or more personal planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus) or the luminaries (Moon, Sun).

Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius, traverses the zodiac every 84 years and takes seven years to go through one sign. The planet is retrograde (in apparent backward motion) for five months at a time; otherwise it moves about 4° of the 360° ecliptic per year. Classically it is considered masculine in expression, but I completely beg to differ. Consider the Hindu concept of Shakti, the lightening-bolt of change that embodies the active, creative feminine. Unlike all the other planets, the Uranus rotation axis is tilted completely over on its side, only 8° out of the plane of orbit. For about a quarter of the Uranian year the sun shines directly over each pole, leaving the other half of the planet in cold, frigid darkness. The Uranian magnetic field is 50 times stronger than that of earth, and is tilted 60° with respect to the rotation axis. Therefore, the magnetic field moves like a corkscrew as Uranus rotates.1

The Northern Hemisphere of the planet is just coming out of a decades-long winter, so the turbulent weather activity at the plant's surface has increased markedly. By 2007 the sun will shine directly over Uranus' equator. The planet's beautiful blue-green color is caused by the absorption of red light by methane in the atmosphere. Uranus also has a wobbly ring system made of billions of tiny pebbles; the ring is vertically oriented, as contrasted to the familiar horizontal rings of Saturn.2 The eleventh is the natural zodiacal home of Uranus; issues raised there have to do with community groups and community acceptance, friends, wishes, hopes and fantasies.

Just as the orbit of Uranus is irregular and eccentric, so does the planet represent the unpredictable, the erratic, the bizarre. How would one encounter Uranian energy in their life? Positive Uranian influence breaks up what is stable and known, to make way for something else. Some folks like to say that Uranus represents the revolutionary, the new, untried and futuristic, but its energies can easily play out as reactionaryism, including reverence for traditional institutions no longer viable in worldly terms, fascism, dictatorial behavior and a tendency to allow the means justify the ends. Uranus/Aquarius is also supposed to be humanitarian and egalitarian in orientation, but again noble sentiments can be displaced by a cold, ivory tower isolationism that loves humanity only from a distance, and only where useful for maintaining crowd control.

Uranus has been associated with mental trauma, nervous system disorders and spiritual enlightenment. Maybe the distinction lies in how well the basic human unit adapts to the flashes of lightening insight it brings, how receptive towards change one chooses to be when Uranus energy manifests as the complete destruction of the known and familiar in one's life. Unfortunately, some people do seem to avoid the breath of Uranus for much of their neatly ordered life. Either they are very, very good at suppression or they are very, very asleep to the higher broadcasting frequencies of life. None the less, with increasing frequency Uranian disruption is touching even them, materializing as sudden upsets in job, health, relationship or government.

Uranus is also said to rule occult activities including astrology, also inventions, discoveries, contradictions, strangers and outcasts. So, if you have Uranus sitting on an angle of your natal horoscope, or many planets in Aquarius or many planetary aspects made with Uranus, you probably should at least run out and buy an astrology book. You may be ahead of your time in some way, enamored of high tech or find yourself unable to blend in and work with the mainstream crowd. Without Uranians those strange night jobs that are done alone would never have candidates for employment. Computer hackers probably have a Uranian gene active in their jigger; the status quo goes out the window when undistorted Uranian energy flows freely. One can come to understand why someone whose entire life is dedicated to the Rotary club and fish on Friday would not take kindly to Uranian intervention; it just shouldn't happen to good boys and girls. So some people touched by Uranus react by becoming powerful government bureaucrats or private businessmen who tell blatant lies in public, because they are flattered to serve an elite cabal dedicated to corporate control, and the untruths they tell or the information they with hold are for the greater good of the ignorant masses.

Uranus has a hand in earthquakes, electricity, magnetism, uranium and homosexuality. When transiting Uranus aspects any planet from Mars on out, large-scale, spectacular action often involving violence either man-made or natural occurs somewhere-actually many-wheres- in the world. Esoterically Uranus functions as the higher octave of Mercury, therefore carries the voice and will of evolutionary cosmic intent; it's resonance field has influence over the intuitive intellect, the pituitary gland and the human auric field. As an aside, what might the pituitary gland do? To me, if functioning in a healthy manner it integrates higher mental and spiritual information with somatic and bodily instinctual data (thus manufacturing messenger hormones), allowing the synthesis of concepts into image form that exist in time and space, and which can then be described in words. 3 The pituitary gland is also the site of the Brow or Third Eye chakra of Eastern spiritual traditions; it has right (image, time and space) and left (logical-linear, verbally-defined) brain components that function optimally as an integrated unit with the source of higher inspiration.

As the higher octave of Mercury, the field of Uranian activity would serve as a channel for Kundalini energy as it interfaces both with the external environment, and with information and energy from higher planes of existence. Submitting to the Uranian impulse can be very seductive; indeed, if done with open intent one can meet with other worlds and disincarnate entities or commune with planetary intelligences. The malleability of time can be witnessed, as it seemingly slows down or speeds up at will. Indeed, the enticement of Uranus can become a struggle to remain rooted in the temporal world; adequately taking care of survival needs can become a problem. However, I have noticed a trend in clients and other individuals of my acquaintance over the years, that if the wavelengths of Uranus are resisted or if the body is ill equipped to tolerate higher vibrational frequencies due to sexual blockage, control issues or a core dis-ease with Nature, the incidence of disorders linked with the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, leukemia, eczema, lupis, shingles and autoimmune disorders increases, especially if Mercury is also in hard aspect to Uranus in the natal chart. If Uranus is powerful natally, at the least one can expect periodic struggles with insomnia.

The Greeks had an interesting place for Uranus in their creation myth. According to Hesiod, a poet from the 8th century B.C., Uranus was begot parthenogenetically by Gaea, the original Great Mother. He was the original Sky God and ruler of the stars and the heavens. Gaea got together with her son and from this union sprang the twelve Titans, which to me runs strangely parallel with the twelve signs of the zodiac and the phases of manifestation on Earth they represent. One of the Titans was Cronus, Time as we know it on the material plane, also represented as Saturn the Great Taskmaster and god of limitations. By the way, Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius the Water-Bearer. The sign itself would seem to be a burning ground for the mind-body conundrum, a cataclysmic dimension where individuality versus the group, time and timelessness, anarchy and ultimate order all grapple for advantage with sexual ambiguity. And Aquarius is not a water sign, it is an air sign therefore representative of the strata wherein water vapor can condense into clouds, and communications can travel in waves ().

Because Uranus hated his offspring, shutting them away in the depths of the Earth where he would not have to see them, Gaea gave Cronus permission to castrate his father and rule in his place. When Cronus did the deed with a sharp sickle, the discarded genitals were thrown into the sea, where they broke into a white foam from which was born the goddess of Love, Aphrodite. The whole myth cycle offers a description of the interception, non gender-specific stepping down, integration and encapsulation of an eternal creative flame into oscillating form on the material plane. Boundless cosmic yang force (Uranus) is sculpted by enforced androgyny and the infliction of time-space as we know it (Saturn), to enable the birth of sensual love, beauty and the concept of self-value in a human being (Venus). The process just might hurt a little when it happens.


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