Reform and Revolution: Astromythology and Uranus (Part 2)
This article is the second part of a continuing series on mythology and astrology. Read part one here.
In 2018, Uranus moved into Taurus for the first time since 1934, dancing back into Aries during its annual retrograde before settling in for good in 2019. We could examine this under a historical lens, talk about the state of financial wellness and all the ways our attitudes around comfort and resources changed during that time, but that’s a different article. We’re here to talk about mythology and while Taurus has its own mythological origins, it can easily be seen as the embodiment of the Earth Mother archetype. Considering the infamous maltreatment of his Earth Goddess wife, it’s safe to say Uranus doesn’t have the best relationship with Earth. Taurus is a sign that nurtures slow, sustainable growth. It rules all the comforts of the sensual world. It is not a sign that appreciates the static-electric shakeup that Uranus delivers, but it’s also an energy completely aligned with Gaia, Ouranus’ long-suffering wife and primary victim. Appropriately, when Robert Cross assigned the planet’s essential dignities, he designated Taurus as the sign of Uranus’ fall — at the very least, this seems to ring true. Its stay in Taurus was destined to be tense as it requires us to reevaluate concepts we’ve always counted on without question: finance, consumption, sex, beauty–and this tension is amplified because of aspects to other planets in the current skies.
2020 highlighted the familial tension between Uranus and Saturn as Saturn moved out of Capricorn and came to reclaim its territory in Aquarius. In Capricorn, we saw Saturn as his own version of the Devouring Father, a perpetuation of traumatic cycles and fulfilment of prophecy, an archetype amplified by the presence of Pluto and Jupiter and the numerous conjunctions they made throughout the year. But as previously mentioned, there is a very different side of Saturn in mythology that tends to be overlooked: in the Pre-Roman era, Saturn was King. He was a god of agriculture and brought wealth and abundance to the land, paving the way for the future of the empire. The transition from process-oriented Capricorn into progressive Aquarius can be viewed as the transition of the culture from agricultural necessity into philosophical revolution: having acquired the resources needed to thrive, the culture turned its attention to the kind of intellectual pursuits that were impossible before the hard-fought battle of cultivation. Saturn, as the Father of the Gods, easily rules over both. He may be a harsh master in Capricorn, “a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone” to quote Dickens (himself a socially-minded reformer ruled by the other end of the Saturnian spectrum), but he’s also the guest of honor at Saturnalia, one of the most infamously bacchanalian festivals of the ancient world. Saturnalia was a public feast unlike any other, a time of gift giving, role play, and caprice. Roman born citizens would dress themselves in the drag of slavery while their slaves gambled in the streets. The sexes mingled equally, mixing titles and names that turned social norms on their heads. It was an early display of Aquarian ideals, even if historians question exactly how much equality was observed.
And so while Uranus continued its transit of its own detriment, creating its own kind of chaos in a realm quite averse to Uranian shenanigans, Saturn moved out of its structured, orderly home in Capricorn to turn things on their head and bring new understanding to the roles we play. By the end of its stay in this sign, Capricorn will be an empty nest: Jupiter, the Third King of Gods and grandson of the primordial heavens, moved into Aquarius in December of 2020, with Pluto to follow in 2023. Uranus himself emerges as a major player in the astrology of 2021, squaring off with Saturn multiple times in an aspect challenging authority and questioning the benevolence of those in charge. Uranus has already sparked massive changes within Taurean ideals: Bitcoin surfaced from the shadowy underground of the Deep Web to see trading on a major world stage while talk of carbon-based currency grows louder, companies like Impossible and Beyond challenge our diets while labs begin to grow “cruelty free” meat under microscopes, the topics of sex and gender have become some of the most hotly debated issues in politics asking us to revisit so many policies across law, medicine, and education alike, technology has become as vital a resource as water and children without internet access face challenges attending virtual classes, and the housing market faces yet another shift as people scramble out of once-popular cities to find spaces conducive to growth.
Uranus remains locked inside Mother Earth until 2026, at which point he’ll end up back where he started–the origin point of modern Uranian myth, the point of his discovery, in Gemini. Saturn will be crusading through Aries, reminiscent of the discovery chart’s Saturn Mars conjunction perpetuating the hostility between these planets. At that point Pluto will be conducting its Aquarian inquisition, examining the collective shadow to topple anything misaligned with our continued growth — but Pluto tends to refine and redefine the spaces it occupies. Planetary rulership defines much of the energy within a sign, adding nuance and value to interpretation and prediction. As we’ve seen, Aquarius becomes a very different sign under Uranus but Pluto may be the ultimate arbiter of truth: the King of the Underworld has the power to reveal these archetypes for what they are and seal obstacles away in its depths. Much like the fabled Tartarus, the Underworld Prison of the Titans, Pluto contains multitudes we attempt to hide away. The process of progress may build upon hundreds of years worth of ideology and action, but it also creates waste as we disassemble and discard that which no longer serves the common good. As so many other planetary cycles herald in new ages and ideals, we turn our eyes to the heavens and focus on our goals without concern for what slips through the cracks. Pluto may collect the debris, but eventually it insists we answer for our waste. At the time of Uranus’ discovery in 1781, Pluto — itself still invisible in the far reaches of the sky — was at 6 degrees of Aquarius, a point it will reach again on New Year’s Day in 2028, a degree that speaks directly to the ways we blind ourselves to our inherent biases and judgements. At that time the world was at war, experiencing an epidemic of revolution and reform both political and scientific. If these planets have anything to say about cycles of growth and evolution, it seems that we’re due for our next global shift. Pluto will enter into an exact trine with Uranus at 6 degrees of Gemini in retrograde, Father Sky staring down into Tartarus. The reluctant patriarch is asked once again to answer for his past. But will he see monsters or misunderstandings?