Uranus is the awkward squad, the outsider, the troublemaker, the flag-waver for freedom at all costs, even if the price is chaos and anarchy. It doesn’t care what others think, isn’t one of the crowd, so it can think out of the box and lead the way into the future. Known as the torch-bearer it can be enlightened, a reformer and activist. Certainly rebellious, its instinct is always to upset the status quo which it finds suffocating and stagnant, overly restrictive. Uranus hates barriers, boundaries, cages of any variety and will rattle the bars until they collapse.
Co-operation and compromise don’t come easily since they mean giving up a chunk of individuality for the sake of others’ needs. Strongly Uranian types can come across as selfish and obstinate. They demand partners be just as independent as themselves, so relationships can drift apart since there is no real engagement. Often underlying the detachment or the ‘I’ll jump back and leave first’ is a fear of abandonment. They pre-empt what they see as the inevitable by baling out in advance. Uranus in hard aspect to Sun or Moon suggests parents who were erratic, unpredictable, didn’t relate well and fostered a forced independence on the child, which is not a great model for adult relationships.
There’s always an ambivalence or paradox about Uranus – it is deemed to be the epitome of tolerance and applauds difference, yet can be quite dictatorial. Aquarius ruled by Uranus (and Saturn) is supposedly humanitarian yet also has a considerable number of fascists and extreme right-wingers amongst its number. Maybe that’s a Fixed Air sign trait – ideology is prioritised over empathy.
It is renowned not just for an interest in pushing back boundaries into the future, but is also fascinated by the distant past.
In mythology Uranus was half of the first divine couple, the sky god married to Gaia, the earth mother. In time she came to dislike him so demanded his children despatch him. Only Saturn (Cronus) took up the challenge and castrated him. The blood that was spilled turned into the Furies, and the genitals thrown into the sea reputedly created Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who arose out of the foam. The other myth associated with Uranus was Prometheus who gave mankind the divine secret of fire and thence knowledge, for which he was punished by Zeus, by being chained to a rock and having his liver torn out nightly. He is the symbol for Aquarius, the water carrier who is not pouring out feelings but handing on the water of knowledge.
So the Uranian/Aquarian inclination towards ideas, scientific knowledge, and all matters up-in-the-head (in the sky) comes at a significant cost in terms of the physical body. There is something against-the-biology about Uranus, in contrast to his earthy, prolific wife. Which, if the myths hold true, causes great anger (the Furies) and suffering (liver also = anger). Consciousness, which is almost certainly ruled by Uranus, was a splitting away from the animal kingdom, the key thing which separates human beings from nature. In becoming ‘intelligent’ beings we lost the sense of being comfortably in our bodies.
What is intriguing is that many of the ‘sexperts’, who studied and wrote about human sexuality were Aquarius – Havelock Ellis, Alex Comfort, Germaine Greer, Betty Friedan, Helen Gurley Brown and Rabelaisian writers like Rabelais, Lord Byron, William Burroughs, Robert Burns. Some plunged happily into the experience but the impression left is that a detached interest in what their temperament couldn’t fully engage with was also part of the equation.
Detachment is a key word for Uranus/Aquarius, which has a dislike of jealousy or possessiveness, since it brings with it a fear of being corralled and tied down.
Uranus rules television (as opposed to Neptune ruling film) and IT/computers/the internet. Television, although it is thought of as domestic, was an early form of digitalisation which seems to strike a chord with Uranus, as does the here-today-gone-tomorrow feel of much television. The social networking world suits Uranus admirably since it gives a sense of connection with a wide circle of friends without the hassle of messy, face-to-face engagements.
Rock musicians often have Uranus in the performing 5th house, so it promotes a quirky, anti-authoritarian, highly individualistic creativity which is not great art, but appeals to the young at heart. Where high artistic ability comes is when Uranus is tied into visionary Neptune. Historically religious art was connected to Uranus Neptune, which is an inspirational mix.
The house that Uranus falls in is always where the individual wants to go against the grain. Uranus in the 6th dislikes the corporate team world, so prefers to go freelance. Uranus in the 9th veers towards alternative philosophies or ideas. In the 7th dislikes conventional relationships, opts for open marriages or constant travelling; in the 8th has a leaning towards experimenting in sex; in the 4th rarely stays living in the same house for long. Whatever everyone else wants, Uranus wants something different.
Uranus in strong aspect to Pluto leads to revolutions and constant churning change, as the Uranus fights for freedom against Pluto’s repressive control. Uranus Pluto’s drive is to collapse old structures precipitately which can lead to chaos if there is no impetus for re-asserting stability once the necessary reforms have been put in place. Getting rid of bad is only part of the process, as we’ve seen only too clearly with Iraq and Libya. If Uranus gets the upper hand for too long it can be very destructive.
Uranus Saturn in the right balance can bring about golden ages where the best of the old is married to the best of the new.