Synastry Q & A: Uranian Lightning

“I sort of understand Neptune and Pluto, but I’ve never understood Uranus in synastry. There’s all this fascination, but there must be something more to it…”

Uranus is the one outer planet that no one seems to want to talk much about in synastry. Of the three ‘troublemakers,’ he’s the weird one. Neptune has his glamour, Pluto has his intensity, and Uranus has…um…where was he, he was here just a minute ago…

Uranus has a strange reputation when it comes to relationships. Given a choice between the three, most people would choose Neptune or Pluto. We know where we are with them (or, in Neptune’s case, where we aren’t…) With Uranus heavily influencing a synastry, there is always something that can’t quite be pinned down, because the thing you’re trying to pin it down to is old-fashioned, old-hat, yesterday’s news. It needs something brand new in order to stabilize it. Uranus makes us reach for what has been heretofore undefined.

Uranus seems to portray the antithesis of what we want in a relationship. Relationships are supposed to be all about joining, melding. They’re about togetherness. And Uranus, well–he’s about separateness all the way.

When Uranus influences a relationship planet either within or between charts, there is a need to go beyond the traditional boundaries of that planet. Moon/Uranus will never settle for ordinary anything, and gets uncomfortable when life becomes bound by the mundane. Venus/Uranus is attracted to the unusual, and will have a style of loving where love and freedom/space go hand in hand. Mars/Uranus is always seeking the new, always pushing the envelope. It’s energy is erratic, and blows fiery hot and icy cold. Saturn/Uranus may destroy what it’s built just to see a new landscape.

But what is behind all this ‘breaking through?’ Is it for the sake of breaking alone?

Uranus can’t be fully understood without understanding its role as the higher octave of Mercury. This is difficult for us, sometimes, because Mercury is a slippery creature in and of himself. We know him in astrology in his role as a communicator and a message bearer whose job it is to connect things–thoughts, people, ideas. In general, he has a Gemini bent (We will get to Earth/Mercury and Virgo, and Mercury as the energy that exists behind all form, another day). However, Uranus is associated with Aquarius, with fixed air. He is not so flexible. (See The Dank Underbelly of the Aquarian Age for a look at the way Uranus operates.)

Mercury was the messenger of the gods. He carried communications between the immortals and mere mortals. He moved easily between both worlds. Uranus does much the same, only without the rational give and take that Mercury provides. Uranus is about zapping us to a higher vibrational pattern. Uranus knows that there is a world beyond the one mere mortals understand, with different rules, and insists that man plays according to these rules. He can be ruthless in his pursuit of a higher order. Uranian knowledge can bring us sudden enlightenment, or it can leave us in a kind of shock, not knowing what to do with what we’ve learned (and so we must turn to Saturn again). When Uranus strikes, we can stumble around for years, burdened with our new knowledge and yet not knowing what direction to take. Uranus tends to deliver the package but leave out the instructions.

When Uranus touches a personal planet, we are destined/condemned/enjoined to have experiences that cause us to be removed from the usual workings of that planet. Moon/Uranus, for better or worse, will not have had conventional nurturing. Venus/Uranus will not have been valued or validated. Mars/Uranus will not have been supported in its actions or goals, and was left to go it alone. Uranus leaves us feeling abandoned to the will of the gods, leaving us much as King Lear remarks, “Like flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport.” When Uranian things happen to us, we have no choice. We are in the middle of it before it really begins.

When Uranus is prominent, freedom is the keyword. However, the need for Uranian freedom and space has a purpose–how can we hear the distant thunder heralding the new order, if we’re forever tied up with and to others?

In relationships, Uranus has his own quirky sort of spell. Well, not so much quirky as insistently, fanatically eccentric. The flip side of Uranian freedom is a particular kind of electric fascination or magnetism. It knows what it wants and needs, and it wants it now. It isn’t the Neptune weaving of the wooze, or the Plutonian hypnosis. It isn’t the come-hither, let me go of Neptune or the repulsion/compulsion conflict of Pluto. It is, like lightning, sudden, ferocious, ruthless. It will burn anything in its path, then disappear in an instant, leaving smoking ruins behind. Uranus has its own, internal rightness (or self-righteousness). When Uranus is dominant, the shock of letting go, of having to let go, can be immense, chilling, leaving us insecure for years.

What is little talked about with Uranus, his darkest secret, is his tendency to rip away, to tear us from what is familiar. Uranian lightning can be deadly, and strikes hard and fast. Uranian pain is unique in its horror, for the very suddenness of it all. This is particularly evident in synastry, when one or the other partner ‘never saw it coming.’ It can be fascination one minute, abandonment the next. People with Venus or Mars in Aquarius are particularly good at breaking off relationships. On the whole, once they’ve decided it’s over, you might as well not exist. A lot of the old cookbook astrology books will tell you that Uranus in synastry brings sudden, intense attachments, but they don’t tell you that most likely you will be unattached before you can blink an eye. I have an extraordinary number of Sun/Uranus clients (particularly males) whose fathers suddenly died or abandoned them without warning when they were children, leaving the particularly Uranian scar of being left adrift and alone in the world. Wherever Uranus is in the chart, whatever it touches, is often scarred by a shocking removal. It will leave us with the tendency to feel an outcast, abandoned by the gods, beyond the norm. This is the beginning of the Uranian rebelliousness, and the search for the Utopia where we will feel a part of things once more.

On the positive side, Uranian attachments are unique. When they work, they exist beyond the normal confines of society. Same sex couples often have strong Uranian ties, as do couples who live what could be considered unconventional life styles, or form highly unconventional pairings. There is usually an air of friendliness and healthy detachment that helps them go the distance, long after the Neptunians have dissolved in a flood of disillusioned tears and the Plutonians have killed one another. Rather than focusing on melding together to dissolve their differences, there is a respect for what makes the other unique.

When Uranus is strong between charts, there is very often a distinct telepathy between lovers. They can just ‘know’ what the other is thinking or feeling at any given time; they can dream one another’s dreams (literally); they can picture what the other is doing at any moment. This is often most keen with conjunctions to the Sun, Moon and/or Mercury, but other aspects can manifest this as well. Neptune can do something similar, but Neptune does it by dissolving boundaries and using empathy/feeling as a basis for the contact. The Uranian vibe doesn’t work that way–it’s more concrete, more specific, more electric. It’s as if the couple has an electronic device implanted where they just pick one another up.

The purpose of Uranus is very simple–it wants to take us higher. If we’re very attachment and security-oriented, a Uranian relationship isn’t going to be an easy ride for us. Uranus is designed to take us beyond the Moon/Saturn dynamic into a new order of relating. It will insist on its own way, and its own dizzying pace. It will insist that we are equal partners with our eyes on the same goal. It will not guarantee that we will always walk side by side. However, we will know that we are connected to one another, and to the rest of the universe, by an unseen universal law. And that, in itself, can give us more security than we could ever hope for on Earth.

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