By Amanda Moreno
I’ve been hosting a monthly AstroCircle for the past several months. After going back and forth about how to best present an ongoing astrological workshop in a way that caters to varying levels of experience, I decided this format would be the best way to go.
Each month we look at a particular theme, typically chosen based on current transits. I do some lecture, we do a lot of imaginal exercises, some personal sharing and storytelling, we involve oils and stones and images, and have some time for open discussion. I leave each session excited and inspired.
When pondering what to teach for the October circle, I decided to just ask the universe for direct insight. Direct insight seems to be pretty rare, so when it happens — especially when I ask for it — I pay attention. It became quite clear that the universal request was that I teach about Uranus. I didn’t quite understand why, as recent circles have been very current-transit oriented, but went about preparing anyway.
Uranus is probably my favorite planet, although I do have to give the disclaimer that I am a person who throws around the terms ‘favorite’ and ‘love’ quite freely and enthusiastically. I do identify as non-monogamous, after all. Plenty of love to go around.
Uranus aspects pretty much all of the major planets, the angles and some asteroids in my chart. My sun is in Aquarius, which is co-ruled by Uranus and Saturn, a planetary pair that is integral to bringing structures to conscious form and then testing the limits of what we think is possible in order to grow. I would consider myself to be a Uranian type. But what does that mean?
When I think of Uranus and Aquarius, I tend to think first about liberation, de-conditioning and individuation. Jung’s theory of individuation speaks to the process of hearing the call of the soul, answering the call, and then integrating unconscious and conscious contents in order to become “who we are meant to be.” This involves liberating from the Saturnian structures and conditioning that are not in alignment with this call.
The concept of hearing the call of the soul sounds somewhat romantic, but it’s often uncomfortable, isolating and therefore avoided entirely. How many people do you know who embrace their difference willfully and enthusiastically, especially those who buck societal conventions in big ways?
The process of individuation, therefore, is associated with de-conditioning and liberating from the known. At the same time, and perhaps because of this de-conditioning process, individuation can be an isolating and lonely experience. Many people do not respond consciously to the pull to individuate because the response can create a lot of insecurity, as breaking down Saturnian structures is wont to do. Here we can see the Aquarian themes of the rebel or outsider coming to the surface.
As the higher octave of Mercury, Uranus represents long-term memory and is therefore also associated with past life memories. Whereas Saturn represents the boundaries of our conscious awareness, Uranus represents the higher mind or personal unconscious — the long view of the memories of our soul’s individuation process.
In the natal chart, the placement of Uranus can indicate where these de-conditioning or liberation processes can be worked through in our lives in a unique way. It is where we can create our own mythology. It is also where we can see karmic triggers that have been traveling with us for many lifetimes.
In Evolutionary Astrology, aspects to Uranus, the 11th house and Aquarius are all indicators of mental trauma. This is different from Plutonian trauma, which is primarily seen as emotional and psychological, although there is some overlap. Uranus represents the shock that takes us out of ourselves, the disassociation connected with the ‘flight’ side of the ‘fight or flight’ response. In less trauma-focused Aquarian terms, it is known as gaining perspective and taking the long view.
Quite honestly, I’m sometimes hesitant to write about trauma especially to a general audience. Therefore it might be worthwhile here to mention two things. First, it’s always helpful to keep in mind that when we are looking at a chart through a specific lens, it is not the only lens.
Second, the reincarnation or karmic lens invites us to bear in mind the fact that human history is full of some pretty horrific events. In my belief system, that helps me to understand that many people are born with a certain amount of PTSD. Perhaps some of us are here to work through that, and some are not. For those who fall in the former category, the Uranus-as-trauma-signature filter can be a useful way of bringing awareness to patterns. Mark Jones’ Healing the Soul and Patricia Walsh’s Understanding Karmic Complexes are fantastic resources for understanding Uranus in this way.
The other day I was pondering Uranus’ correspondence with The Fool in the tarot. A tarot mentor of mine once told me that she sees The Fool as the scariest card in the tarot because it indicates an entirely new beginning and stepping off into the unknown.
As the card in the deck that is numbered zero and therefore falls at the end as well as the beginning, it completes the circle. The Fool arrives just after the mastery signified by the final card in the tarot, The Universe, which is a card also corresponding with Saturn. The structures have been identified and are ready to be tested, the limits are once again ready to be pushed beyond; and The Fool, that fantastic Uranian complex, is either greeted willfully and with conscious intention, or else a lightning strike bolts us in the next phase.
In my natal chart, Uranus lies in the 4th house in Scorpio. Themes of sudden loss of family members through traumatic death have been consistent since my early childhood. My life seems in many ways to be an experiment in shrugging off conditioning about what family looks like. Whether I’m inherently the black sheep or have consciously chosen to be so, in this life I get to create a new myth of what ‘blood ties’ look like. I am learning a lot about sudden loss and change.
Two days before I was set to lead the Uranus AstroCircle, I got a call from my mom who let me know that a family member had died, suddenly and traumatically. I was plunged back into the Uranian realm, with transiting Saturn having just moved away from my natal Uranus, which lies in Scorpio.
I then understood a bit more about the universe’s directive to have me focus once again on a Uranian configuration that really is at the crux of my natal chart. The AstroCircle was rescheduled, and I had a chance once again to revisit the archetype and my lived experience of it.
I’m not actually at a point in my life where writing out all of my Uranus stories seems like a great idea. I was, however, compelled to type out my thoughts, once again not entirely sure why, but trusting in the process. Hopefully it’s helpful in some way; I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.