Uranus: The Planets in Astrology

venetian clock
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Uranus is the cosmic alarm-clock, and big shocks and surprises often match up with this planet's doing. 

It's the planet of breakthroughs, and those triggering events you don't expect. And as the higher octave of Mercury, it relates to the genius streak of the mind. 

Uranus in the Birth Chart 

Look for the Uranus symbol on your birth chart to discover the sign and house position. Uranus is known in astrology as the "Awakener," since its aspects and transits bring sudden changes and shocks. It rules Aquarius, the quirky innovator, and sometimes these upheavals are a necessary break from restrictions in favor of a more liberated path.

Uranus is known as a generational sign since it affects a cohort across a time span. Uranus stays in a sign for about 7 years, and while there makes a similar impression on all those born during that period. On the collective level, it influences the cultural pulse of a given time period.

Uranus Transits - Surprise, Surprise! 

When Uranus makes a transit to any planet in your birth chart, that planet gets whooped upside the head. You're in for some cosmic surprises. Sometimes it's liberating, and other times you're thrown into utter chaos. If you've coasted along with a mild discontent, Uranus' visit amps it up to the next level. For example, perhaps you've been miserable in your job. Uranus comes along and you get fired -- you might be shocked, but now you've got the chance to change course.

The Mid-Life Crisis - Uranus Opposition

The Uranus opposition occurs somewhere around the age of 40, when transiting Uranus opposes your own natal Uranus. Also known as the mid-life crisis, this is when people suddenly cast off the shackles that keep them from fulfilling their destiny. You might get the courage to leave a stagnant relationship, or to suddenly follow a long-buried dream.

Uranus Discovered

An amateur astronomer named William Herschel first spied Uranus through his homemade telescope on March 13, 1781. It was considered an accidental discovery in this Englishman's backyard, which is fitting for the planet of quirky innovation.

Astro-historians often point out the revolutions underway at this time in France and America, and the busting free of old structures of power.

Uranus plays an important role as the provocateur, the bringer of the cosmic wake-up call for both individuals and the collective as a whole.

Just when we relax into our comfortable, stable lives, Uranus disrupts the scene. It can be through an event that happens to us, or self-initiated acts spurned on by a desire for change.

The influence of Uranus on a generation is revealed through innovations, break-throughs, shifts in perception, etc. When Pluto and Uranus were conjunct in Virgo during the sixties, there were surprise events that shocked the world, along with social upheaval due to changing perceptions. 

On a personal level, Uranus can factor in when there are intense aspects to natal planets. If you've got Sun square Uranus in the birth chart, for example, constant upheaval as you pursue your goals leads you to be flexible and go with the flow. Many insights come from looking at the house in which your Uranus falls. A Seventh House (Relationships, Partnerships) Uranus can mean sudden changes that involve other people.

The gift of Uranus is to set us free when we've become too rigid or structured. While it's influence is disruptive, and accidents are associated with this planet, a crisis tends to sharpen the focus, make you feel more alive. Uranus can remind you of what you really want, not what you've been conditioned to think you want.

Uranus rules Aquarius and those with a heavy influence in their chart are born to shake things up, be the revolutionaries. As the "Divine Awakener," perhaps Uranus' surprises are part of the cosmic orchestration designed with a future vision in mind.