Painting by Gay Nichols. As one of the outer planets, what I like to call the “transformational” planets, Uranus turns retrograde for about half the year, every years. This ebb and flow of planets moving forward and then retreating before moving on again is a natural part of life and if we are able to slow down the rush of our thoughts we can find ourselves rocking to the rhythm of this eternal planetary wisdom. This is very much like the seashore, where the waves flow in and recede again, in an everlasting flow.
Uranus is named after the Sky God Ouranos who actually held up the arc of the sky. In some accounts he is the father of Hermes/Mercury, and astrologers (me, anyway) often speak of Uranus as being a “higher octave” of Mercury meaning the mental function of Mercury is elevated to a higher plane of consciousness and awareness. Where Mercury rules the mind and everyday communication, Uranus teaches us to break through the boundaries of ordinary awareness and think differently. Under the auspices of Uranus we learn to listen to other dimensions of reality (which we call insight – those “Eureka” moments). We resist being pigeonholed and create new ways of living together in the world. We rebel against restriction and demand the autonomy to be our own uniquely creative and original Self.
It’s the role of Uranus to wake us up from the stupor of our day to day unconsciousness. In order to do that he sometimes brings about a shocking or surprising event that startles us awake and forces us to look at uncomfortable truths in our lives.
Some of us find it easier to express our inner radical than others. If Uranus is strong in your chart you may be a rebel at heart and resist authority without blinking an eye. For those with more conservative planetary structures, such as a preponderance of Virgo or Capricorn or a watery chart which seeks to preserve security rather than make waves, the risks required in standing up to authority and walking away from repression may seem to great. When Uranus retrogrades the impulse to rebel and stand alone becomes stronger and more intense. The things that you may have been able to ignore before will take up more of your consciousness and demand attention. This is especially true for those of you with planets between 5 and 15 degrees of the cardinal signs: Libra, Aries, Cancer and Capricorn.
Uranus will be retrograde until December 17th, and during this time he will make the fourth of seven total exact squares to Pluto (see the sidebar for more information on this cycle if you are new to this site). Because the apparent motion of planets (from our perspective on earth) slows as they prepare to change direction, Uranus has been relatively still for the last couple of weeks and will continue to be at a virtual standstill. Mars in Cancer will be within range of a challenging square to Uranus over the next two weeks and it is advisable to be somewhat cautious during this time. Mars can inflame the dormant radical behavior of Uranus to the point where actions explode in ways that we never intended.
The less we allow resentment and anger to build up during this next couple of weeks the better we will be. Exercise to release the physical energy of Mars is helpful, as is direct communication where necessary. While Uranus is retrograde it is advisable to see where your life needs changing. In what areas are you feeling stale and bored – where can you bring in a bit more excitement and new ways of thinking? These are the questions Uranus will be asking.