Presence, and What We Birth with Uranus-Eris

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

With tomorrow’s last exact Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries, we get another reminder to expect the unexpected. As Amanda Painter describes (and as a friend of hers demonstrates), the astrology is also suggesting you become more fully aware and present to how you can synthesize opposites. We may be in a moment of birthing a new understanding.

By Amanda Painter

Tomorrow (Friday), we’ll experience the last of the three exact contacts in the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries, at 2:44 am EDT (6:44 UTC). Uranus-Eris is the overarching event that we can look to as representative of much of the surprise, chaos (political chaos and identity chaos) and upheaval we’re currently experiencing in our digital age. So what does it mean to have the third and final exact conjunction between these two unpredictable planets?

Total presence: baby and saxophonist connect in front of the New York City Library in Sept. 2014. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Total presence: baby and saxophonist connect in front of the NYC Library in 2014. Photo by Amanda Painter.

On one level, it’s yet another reminder to expect the unexpected. That has been the theme of the last year-plus, and it’s clear we’ll need to stay on our toes as this astrology ripples out and its repercussions take new shape.

So one mission, should you choose to accept it, is to keep striving to adapt to what the world throws at you, without getting jaded, exhausting yourself or going numb. Because once you give in to total cynicism, burn out or simply tune out entirely, you also lose touch with the passion and awareness necessary to create something new and vital with your life.

Some days, “new and vital” might simply be the ability to get up in the morning and do what must be done. Other days, “new and vital” could very well be something that refreshes your commitment to serving the highest good of humanity, or something that brings joy and inspiration to others.

Along with Uranus-Eris, tomorrow the Pisces Sun makes a square to Saturn and the Galactic Core (GC) in Sagittarius (just like Mercury did last week). The Sun equates to ‘conscious awareness’, which is a close cousin to the ‘intellect’ that Mercury represents. So I suspect that the Sun-Saturn-GC configuration plays a similar role in this week’s astrology.

That role is to remind you to get your facts straight in the face of all that’s happening around you — especially as you encounter it via online environments. Or perhaps more accurately, get your focus straight. Understand where your awareness gets drawn to; notice how you situate yourself (and your ego) in relation to the world around you. Own your perceptions, biases, blind spots and projections as best you can — and be open to how new information might necessitate a shift in any of those factors.

The presence of the Galactic Core emphasizes the message — both the message of the Sun-Saturn square, and the message of the Uranus-Eris conjunction. It would seem there are universal truths available, despite the distractions. Or maybe the universal truth coming through is about the distractions themselves? Could it be that we’re living in this plane of existence specifically to experience the ‘distraction’ of being human, and to learn from it?

Perhaps. After all, consider for a moment the Sabian symbol for the degree where Uranus and Eris make their last exact meeting: 23 Aries. The Sabian symbols are a system of channeled images that correspond to each of the 360 degrees of the zodiac, the most famous of which were interpreted by Dane Rudhyar. The symbol for 23 Aries is, “A pregnant woman in light summer dress.” Its keynote is “Fecundity.”

Without getting into Rudhyar’s full explanation of this degree’s symbol, just think about the word “fecundity.” It suggests that this moment is rich and fertile for creating new life; that this new life is coming from an integration of masculine and feminine, but that it’s the archetypal feminine energy that is carrying this potential into the open. The Jan. 21 Women’s March seems to be just one indicator of a growing vitality and recognition of ‘the Divine Feminine’ in our everyday presence; recognition of the power it has to shape public discourse, and to shape new ways of engaging with each other that subvert the age-old ‘power-over’ model we’re so accustomed to.

Does this mean the masculine goes away or is weakened? Far from it. Maybe it just means that in shifting power dynamics and dialogue closer to an equilibrium, masculine and feminine can be integrated in a way that allows polarity to engender harmony and synthesis, rather than simply setting us up for conflict when we meet the ‘other’.

Consider, for a moment, that Venus is currently in Mars’ home sign of Aries; and Mars is in Venus’ home sign of Taurus. These personal planets that represent the feminine principle and the masculine principle, respectively, are currently expressing in their opposite mode. It’s a picture of synthesis, though it has its challenges.

Venus (which is retrograde) conjoins Mercury in Aries Saturday. Will the result be like a typical Mercury-Venus conjunction (refined and artistic mind, optimistic, charming)? Or will it be more like a typical Mercury-Mars conjunction (aggressive, mechanically inclined, courageous), since Mars rules Aries?

I suspect it may be a blend of both. Whether it’s the best of both or the worst of both depends highly on your personal circumstances, values, temper, attitude and worldview. But I like to think that the recent experience of a friend of mine offers an ideal model of how it can work.

This friend, named Bess, had an in-person appointment with an aide at the office of one of our U.S. senators. She was nervous, and she’s angry about a great deal that is happening politically on the national stage. So she spent a full week thinking about what to say and how. And Bess asked herself to step into what Patsy Rodenburg, a voice coach and theater director, calls The Second Circle: “a place where real communication can happen, an open, unguarded, vulnerable yet strong and grounded place,” and promised herself she would not step into the Senator’s office as an adversary.

Rather than going in with both guns blazing and a list of grievances, she decided to connect with the aide on a personal level first — and to tell personal stories that related directly to four specific areas of concern. She asked how much time she had, and found out that the aide needed to check in with her school-age daughter in about half an hour.

And then my friend talked. The aide listened and took notes. The aide remarked that, “none of us ever expected we would be where we are.”

Bess says she expects some people will think that she went too easy on the aide. But, the aide invited her back to discuss more issues. More importantly, my friend made a connection: “human to human, woman to woman, mom to mom,” as she described it.

This woman harnessed her receptivity to her courage. She integrated her determination to make a difference with her determination to be open. She took initiative, yet she also allowed the unknown to unfold in ways far more beautiful — and probably far more effective — than if she’d let her fear get channeled into aggression. No matter what your gender identification, this is an option available to you.

Bess created a space both within her and with this other person where something new could be birthed, even if just for those moments when she was in the office. I suspect, however, that space did not close up when she left — at least, not within her. What will you birth with the gift of your full presence?

Planet Waves

9 thoughts on “Presence, and What We Birth with Uranus-Eris

  1. LizzyLizzy

    Lovely! Thank you, dear Amanda. This just about sums it up for me right now: “Some days, “new and vital” might simply the ability to get up in the morning and do what must be done. Other days, “new and vital” could very well be something that refreshes your commitment to serving the highest good of humanity, or something that brings joy and inspiration to others.” Such a wonderful photo. <3

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Thanks, Lizzy! Yes, I think it’s crucial to remember — *especially* when things are tough — that seemingly tiny victories are still victories. And sometimes just getting out of bed and getting showered is a major victory! The last thing I want is for anyone to think that if they’re not bursting on the scene with some kind of radical, super-creative, uber-inclusive, peace-and-love-fest idea on a regular basis, that somehow they are “lesser than,” or that whatever they *can* do and offer is in any way not valuable.

      It all counts. *WE* all count.

      (Oh — and I’ve been waiting to use this photo in something for more than two years. It finally felt like a good choice for this article. My partner and I had *such* a good time watching this toddler — he was absolutely in AWE of the sounds coming out of the saxophone! And the saxophonist engaged his wonder and curiosity so beautifully. :) )

  2. Venus

    Eris and Aries… Yow! Talk about a party gone bad. The one who stirs up strife with help! I always told my daughters when they were dealing with difficult people if kindness didn’t work than “dust your sandals …Arguments and forceful behavior is simply a diversion to the ultimate peace that surround our Core.
    Great insight Amanda!

    Patricia Louise Mettler

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Venus/Patricia: absolutely. Uranus-Eris has been brutal in many ways. I’m not denying that at all. And when things get this confusing, scary and difficult, it can be extra-hard to see the opportunities to be our best selves — whatever that might be in any given moment (and I think it can vary a great deal). But I do think this insanity *is* giving us that opportunity. It just is not always easy.

  3. Linda MayLinda May

    Nice Amanda :) thank you.

    “Or maybe the universal truth coming through is about the distractions themselves? Could it be that we’re living in this plane of existence specifically to experience the ‘distraction’ of being human, and to learn from it?”

    I d say… we are here to experience and remember who we art :) to re-Member ‘our’ self.

    “Does this mean the masculine goes away or is weakened? Far from it.”

    So cool to have venus n mars playing mutual musical chairs. I think our active “male” side finally gets to play real intuitive, and receptive feminine. Woohoo!!

    Courage : age of heart

  4. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan

    Hey Amanda:

    Zowie, Batman!

    My Progressed Pluto in Ceres is exactly conjunct transiting Pluto in the 11th. UNDER PRESSURE as David Bowie sings, and everyone in my office feels. My natal Jupiter and Uranus in the 5th are almost exact to the conjunction give or take a degree or two. Jupiter in oppo and Uranus in the square to the conjunction.

    Everyone in my office, including myself, woke up the middle of the night and had a hard time getting back to sleep. I was a awakened by a profound desire to do of all things, STRENGTH TRAINING AT THE GYM. (Is this a Sabian symbol degree?). I feel as though I need some physical strength as psychological support to contain and express the surge of energy, building up since last week’s Full Moon.


    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Fe!!! So good to hear from you here. Yes, the energy lately has been…energetic. Between things like the Gemini Moon + Venus station Rx two weeks ago, and last weekend’s Full Moon, I’ve definitely experienced uncharacteristic sleep disruptions. And I suspect the approaching equinox and earlier morning light adds its own tangible layer.

      But I have to say, your personal chart’s interaction with the “big stuff” brewing sounds *intense*. No surprise that you’re feeling it as an urge to GET STRONGER physically in the face of all that’s going on around you, within you and in the heavens. Go for it! I’d say Mars in Taurus totally supports that urge (and could be part of the precipitating picture).

      Ride ‘em, cowgirl! ;)

  5. Lesley

    Hi Amanda…just read your wonderful article. Had to share something you mentioned, which is a bit of an aside from the astrology. Blew me away. This was the last place I thought I would ever see her name.

    Patsy Rodenburg, OBE…Head of Voice at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London for 30 years, is the world’s leading Shakespeare coach and a renowned authority on Shakespeare. The list of great actors she has coached starts with Judi Dench and Ian McKellen and goes from there. She was in residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court Theatre, The Moscow Art Theatre, the Comedie Francaise, and many more. She has staged Shakespeare in maximum security prisons with prisoners in all the roles and worked with the criminally insane for over 25 years.

    She is such a force of nature, and I’m proud to say she is my Shakespeare coach. I’ve been working with her for the past three years in New York when she comes over from London. And this year I was invited to become one of a small group of people from around the world to become certified in her method of coaching and teaching. We will be the only people in the world to be certified by Patsy in her methodology. This particular path for me has been life changing, and is leading to the probability of my also auditioning for the MA in Acting program at The Guildhall this coming year, and moving to London.

    Her work is life changing, it makes such a statement about interaction and communication in society and the world today….(all much too much to go into in a post) ..all reflected very vividly, btw, in Shakespeare…as relevant today as it’s been throughout the centuries. Altho the subject of many of her books is the text of Shakespeare, I highly recommend reading “The Second Circle” for anyone interested. Mind blowing…and relevant. Thanks for reading and for all you do..! :)

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Lesley — how cool that you’ve actually worked with Patsy! I had not been directly familiar with her work before reading my friend Bess’ account on Facebook, and so I went poking around online to get a feel for her before mentioning her in my article. My sense was that even if no PW readers had heard of her, many might resonate with her work — at least as she describes the Second Circle in the video I linked to.

      I’ve heard much more about Kristen Linklater with regard to vocal training and Shakespeare. I think it’s probably because Linklater worked for so long in Western Massachusetts at Shakespeare and Company, which is the “big name” in Shakespeare training here in New England. From what I’ve seen of another short Rodenburg video, it seems that she and Kristen have overlapping approaches and philosophies. I’m sure there are differences, too; but my overall initial impression was one of commonality.

      That is, the idea that *allowing* and *freeing* the voice effects more in us than just how we *sound*, but also effects how fully we *are* in ourselves. I took a short Linklater class this past fall here in Maine (and look forward to doing more), and it positively lit me up…experienced some profound (if impressionistic or difficult to fully articulate) insights about the relation of a fully embodied voice to a fully embodied sense of self/identity.

      Anyway, I wish you luck in your certification program! It sounds fantastic, and like a true calling. Thank you for adding your “voice” to this forum!

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