Please read, “The Music of the Spheres: Octaves” before this piece.
I’d like you to sit back and think about an outstanding experience of the planet Uranus. Most of us will come up with some sudden shock or turnabout during a major Uranus transit or progression. Most of us will associate Uranus with the unexpected. Uranus is all that’s new, Uranus is exciting, Uranus is all about discovering new paths and new directions. Uranus is supposed to guide us into the future via flashes of lightning.
But think about it. It depends on how astrologically savvy you were during the transit or progression, but what really happened? No matter what happened afterwards and how it had to be processed for you to squeeze wisdom out of it, Uranus was first responsible for taking away something–and taking it away suddenly and unexpectedly. Before he communicates anything to us, anything at all, he is the Great Severer. Now, mind you, he’s fast–he works before we can see him coming, the quickest hatchet man around–but Uranus’s first order of business is to disconnect us. What is he disconnecting us from? Our ordinary, ego-bound patterns and definitions and our habitual ways of understanding our world. Uranus is impatient. He’s bringing us the future the way he sees it, how dare we get mired in the past? The Uranian disconnect can be ruthless. Sometimes it’s so fast it seems bloodless, or it can be as bloody as the French Revolution and then some. [Remember that the guillotine was invented (during the discovery of Uranus) as a humanitarian advancement.] But when Uranus is active, the first thing he does is pull the plug. He will shake us off no matter how hard we hold on.
In his severing mode, Uranus can be the most frightening of the Three Bullies, otherwise known as the transpersonal planets. I associate Uranus with a particular kind of trauma in the chart, one that lingers on with nerve-shattering results. It results in a kind of personal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder–wherever Uranus lies in the chart, it is responsible for a violent taking-away, a traumatic removal. And unless you really understand this part of Uranus, the rest of Uranian behaviour doesn’t really make any sense.
Say Uranus falls on the Ascendant of a chart. This person would identify with being out of the norm, different, more advanced, unusual. He or she might identify with and fight for humanitarian causes. Dig under the surface, the reasons for this behaviour can be a denial of the individual “I”, which can occur because the person involved is somehow robbed (usually in early life) of the sense of individual identity and belonging. We have a choice of joining the rebellious ‘group’ and finding an identity within it or we remain forever scapegoats and outsiders, exiled from our own sense of legitimacy in the world. The erratic Uranian pattern reinforces the behaviour–if ever do try to fit in, I get cut off. Or I only fit in with the strange and the unusual, . The best route for Uranus here is the Path of Mind. We are initiated into a new awareness because we are forced to confront circumstances which remove us from the ego. All three of the outer planets teach us lessons about getting our egos out of the way. With Uranus, it’s our ‘little world, little mind’ tendencies that fly out the window. We are challenged to stretch our definitions. As anyone with a Mercury/Uranus connection will tell you, the minute you think you understand something, Uranus will step in and take you further.
All three of the outer planets initiate us into their awakening by removing us from the primary quality of the lower octave planet. With Uranus, we are severed from our connection-making abilities. Mercury is the connecting planet which allows us to make sense of and understand our worldly experiences. Uranus removes the logical processes of Mercury and replaces it with sudden shifts of awareness. Mercury is the way we make meaning out of information. When Uranus pulls the plug on us and then rudely bombards us with universal truths beyond our ordinary understanding, we often feel on shaky ground. Sometimes, where Uranus is concerned, we might know things, but we don’t know why. Again, our lack of support for our convictions leaves us high up, but on very unstable scaffolding.
The infamous Uranian ‘fascination’–electric, and so different from the spell-weaving fascination of Neptune–has to do with this initial severing. So much of it has to do with the ‘shock of the new’–whatever we are fascinated by removes us from our ordinary reality. We remain fascinated until we gradually begin to understand the fascination, or we can no longer take the pressure of the removal from ordinary life, or we decide that the changes that will be required of us to fulfill the promise of the fascination will be beyond our capabilities.
Whether or not Mercury and Uranus have a connection in the chart, it’s Mercury that struggles with the new information. If your Mercury has an aspect to Uranus, even a difficult one, then you’re in luck, because your Mercury has been put on the fast track to Uranian wisdom. The quickness of mind associated with Mercury/Uranus is not always pleasant in the easier aspects–I’ve seen troubles with both the conjunction and the sextile, because Mercury can get overloaded with the flow of Uranian energy, and can mentally cut out because of it. The mental processes of strong Mercury/Uranus can easily affect the body, often with nerve issues and mental exhaustion. If Mercury isn’t ready to process the wisdom of Uranus, there can be difficult consequences. Uranus is always urging us to let go, to allow distance, something Mercury is often not prepared to do in its struggle to understand. When Mercury learns that it is capable of making connections at great distances, greater than it ever assumed, then its impact on our lives grows and we allow ourselves to create new concepts of the greater Mercurial connections. These concepts then become the building blocks of the elevated Mind. When Mercury stretches its wings, we are no longer confined to the prison of our day to day reality. We understand that there are new lands to conquer, off where the gods reside and the mere rules of man no longer apply. And Mercury can now help us lay down the plans to get there.
The more we allow Uranus in, and the more we let go of our limited understanding, the greater influence we have over our own charts. We use Mercury to process all of our experiences, not just our Uranian ones, and if Mercury is operating on a higher vibration, the entire chart becomes illuminated. Mercury often gets short shrift in chart interpretation (unless he is retrograde and causing havoc with our plans), and it’s sad, because without Mercury we have no way of making sense of our experience. It’s our ideas about our lives that determine what we make of those lives. (Or, in the words of Epicetus, “We are not troubled by things, but by the opinions we have of things.”) When Mercury has been elevated through its struggles to comprehend Uranian experience, the range and scope of our lives becomes infinite. We then see that we are connected to the everything and the all in a very intimate, personal way. Our individuality then is created not by ego, but by the way this universal energy flows through and expresses itself through our individual consciousness.