The Courage to Change
We look around us, look at the news, and we see pressure, and tension. We see courage (thank you, Malala) and change. We see explosions, violence, power run amok, and dug-in-at-the-heels stubbornness. There is a buzz in the world of astrology around this aspect we call the Uranus-Pluto square. I see its effects in the charts of my clients, my friends, and my own chart as well. I see its effects in the chart of the USA, in the charts of large organizations, in every Cardinal Ingress chart last year and for a couple more years to come. So I’m pretty certain there is a lot to be learned from this configuration, and in this post, I’m going to explore some of the ramifications of one side of the square — Uranus in Aries.
The square is a 90 degree aspect of tension, and many people do not handle tension well, which is why squares often seem to manifest as difficult events. It’s a stressful aspect that demands integration and synthesis as the path to growth and progress. Taking the wisdom that can be gained from both planets and signs involved, then weaving those insights together into a sturdy rope that you can cast into the future, is the way to handle a square. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to weave a rope long enough to hang yourself by drawing on the negative characteristics of the planets and signs. The difference, of course, is conscious awareness and intention. Let’s look at how we might utilize Uranus in Aries for spiritual growth and positive change.
Both the planet Uranus and the sign Aries resonate strongly with the concept of freedom. Aries needs freedom to act, to establish the self in the world, “to boldly go where no one has gone before”. Aries needs to DO something, and restrictions of any kind are anathema. Uranus insists on freedom because it is required for change, and to establish independence and uniqueness.
Why does Uranus require change? Because it is the first of the transpersonal planets, the planets outside the orbit of Saturn, which is the furthest planet that can be seen with the unaided human eye. As I discussed in a previous post, Saturn is the planet that delineates the boundaries of the physical realm by its rulership of time and space. Uranus, being the first planet outside those boundaries, forces us to release the limits of the physical realm so we can play and create within the realm of the transpersonal.
Many, if not most, magicians believe that magic does not directly affect physical reality, but that it shifts and changes patterns in the more subtle realms, the ones that hold the blueprints of Consciousness from which physical reality is created. We must be able to transcend the limits of time and space to work within these realms, and Uranus, also known as The Great Awakener, is there to provide us with help — anything from a friendly shake to a clue-by-four upside the head, and usually, a big surprise. Uranus loves surprises! This planet also indicates a need to become aware of limiting thought patterns, to look at how our expectations set our reality around us, and then to break through those patterns to new levels, new horizons, and approach our lives from an entirely different perspective.
What is your attitude towards change? Are you secure enough, centered enough, to embrace it? Many people are scared of change — and many are in denial of their fear. Uranus in Aries suggests that you look closely at how well-grounded you are in your identity, for, unless we are rooted in a clear sense of Self and our unbreakable connection to the Tao (The One, All That Is, The Dryghten), we will fear change, because we will fear losing our selves, our individuality.
This is the challenge of Uranus in Aries — to connect, refine and expand our little selves, all those small, separate parts of us that psychologists love to parse and define, until we see that those little selves are just temporal creations of our greater Self, and that greater Self is, always and forever, connected to the Tao. With that realization, we can creatively choose how our Self expresses itself in the world of Saturn, in the world of time and space. We can learn to be free from the limitations of fear, to wake each day knowing we are acknowledged and loved, to perform each work of magic with a sense of wonder and expectation, and then to DO something, something that may just change the world.
But bringing that realization to birth requires more than visualizing ourselves leaping happily through a field of spring flowers as we burn the appropriate candles and incense. It requires — yes, you know what I’m going to say — a practice of meditation and self-inquiry. A practice — as in “regularly repeated”. It requires courage — the courage to be wrong, the courage to make a fool of yourself, the courage to become a different person, and so risk losing what the person you are now has and is. It requires confronting your ego, not to destroy it, but to reassign it so it is doing its designated job of managing daily life, instead of trying to run the whole show. And this is not a one-time effort — it needs constant vigilance. Hence, the practice.
There are many external, cultural fights for freedom, and we will see -- and maybe participate in -- plenty of those as Uranus moves through Aries. But there are inner battles to be fought as well, and it is these battles that are critical. Change comes from within, and as we change, we help others change as well. Will you marshal your energy and fight for your freedom from the restrictions and indoctrinations of the thought-police? Will you have the courage to step outside the boundaries of the culture in which we live and look for new directions? Will you, as Walt Whitman suggests, “re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, [and] dismiss whatever insults your own soul”? Yes? Good. Then you’ll be working with the energy of Uranus in Aries to great benefit, not only for yourself, but for the world you live in.
I’ll leave you with these Uranian thoughts from Neil Gaiman:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.
So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
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