The Uranian system of astrology, also known as the Hamburg School of Astrology, had its origins in the early part of the twentieth century. Alfred Witte (1878-1943), the founder of the system, was a renowned astrologer in Germany as well as a surveyor. He and his student and colleague, Friedrich Sieggrun (1877-1951), were members of the famed Kepler Circle. During World War I, Witte tried to use the prevailing astrological methods of his day to time battles. He found these methods to be quite lacking, and it was during this time that he developed his revolutionary way of looking at astrology. After the war, he introduced these ideas to his contemporaries in the Kepler Circle. Witte's Uranian astrology is differentiated from other schools of Western astrology by a variety of factors, including the use of dials, the cardinal axis, hard aspects, midpoints, symmetry, and the eight hypothetical planets, as well as its concentration on six personal points and their houses.
Witte postulated that the character and destiny of a person are not solely determined by the aspects between the planets but are seen primarily through the symmetry of the planets. Planets are in symmetry when their arc openings are equal. One of the main tenets of the system states that planets that have equal differences (arc openings) also have equal midpoints and equal sums. These completed symmetrical planetary arrangements are called planetary pictures. A planetary picture may be expressed in the following ways: Planet A + Planet B - Planet C = Planet D; Planet A + Planet B = Planet C + Planet D; Planet A - Planet C = Planet D - Planet B; and, finally, (Planet A + Planet B) / 2 (midpoint of A and B) = (Planet C + Planet D) / 2 (midpoint of C and D).
For example, Planet A, Mars, is at 13° Gemini; Planet B, Jupiter, is at 19° Sagittarius; Planet C, Venus, is at 25° Taurus; and Planet D, Saturn, is at 7° Capricorn. Except for a wide opposition between Mars and Jupiter, these planets would at first seem to be unrelated. However, they actually work in tandem because of their symmetrical relationship. Using whole circle notation we see that:
Mars (73) + Jupiter (259) - Venus (55 degrees) = Saturn (277)
The system also investigates sensitive points, which are expressed in a similar fashion to Arabic parts, i.e. A + B - C. When these points are completed by a natal, transiting, or solar-arc-directed planet, the completed symmetrical picture is formed. Though many people believe that the system uses thousands of points, in fact, the experience practitioner looks only for these completed symmetrical relationships.
These symmetrical relationships are most easily seen using a rotating dial. Most Uranian astrologers use both the 360° dial and the 90° dial. Some use dials of other harmonics as well, most notably, the 45° and the 22.5° dial. The 360° dial divides the zodiac into 12 30° segments according to sign. The 90° dial divides the circle by four so that all of the cardinal signs are placed in the first 30° of the dial, the fixed signs are posited in the second 30° segment and the mutable signs are found in the last 30° of the dial.
On a 360° dial, there are arrows marking 0° of the cardinal signs and a marking, usually a large dot, indicating 15° of each of the fixed signs. These eight points are collectively referred to as the cardinal axis or the eight-armed cross. In essence, these markings divide the 360° circle by eight. These special markings, therefore, also indicate the hard aspect series, i.e. the opposition, square, semi-square, and sesqui-quadrate. There are additional markings on most 360° dials as well as a marking for each segment of 22.5° (sixteenth harmonic aspect). The soft aspects, semi-sextile, sextile, trine, and quincunx are also easily viewed on the dial by using the sign boundaries. Therefore, the dial is not only a tool for examining symmetry, but it is a wonderful aspectarian as well.
Uranian astrologers use the cardinal axis or eight-armed cross to represent the world at large. With the pointer on the cardinal axis, the astrologer looks for planets symmetrically arranged around the axis or in aspect to the axis. When the midpoint of two planets falls around the 0° Cancer / 0° Capricorn axis, they are said to be in antiscia. The use of antiscia is not unique to Uranian astrology, but finding antiscia using the 360° dial is. Contra-antiscia, symmetry around the 0°Aries / 0° Libra axis, is also easily visible using the dial. But Uranians take antiscia even further and examine the symmetry or midpoints of planets around 15° Leo/Aquarius and Taurus/Scorpio. Not only is this technique useful in describing world events on a particular day or place, but the position of the planets at birth relative to this eight-armed cross can also be used to describe the unique connection of the individual with the world at large. After all, the planets are constantly moving in relationship to one another, and they thereby define the course of human history in the broadest sense as well as in everyday ways. How a person fits into this universal, ever-changing rhythm is quite elegantly defined in how the planets were arranged around the cardinal axis at their specific time and place of birth.
In fact, the cardinal axis is the first of the personal points of the Uranian system. It is the outer personal point that represents our connection to the world in general. The second outer personal point is the ascendant. This point describes how a person relates in their immediate surroundings and it rules the place. The third outer personal point is the Moon's node. Through this point, one may examine a person's intimate connections, those that are of a karmic variety.
The next three personal points are considered inner personal points. The first is the Sun, representing the will and ego of the individual. The Sun also rules the day. The Moon is the second inner personal point, representing the emotions of the individual. The Moon also rules the hour. The last of the inner personal points is the MC. The MC represents the person's unique individuality, soul, or spirit of the individual. It rules the moment or minute.
One popular misconception about Uranian astrologers is that they do not use houses. In fact, the seasoned Uranian astrologer uses six house systems for each of the personal points. The Meridian house system is probably the most important of the six since it represents the native's point of view. This house system is divided along the equator rather than the ecliptic and, therefore, the houses are more or less equal in size. The first house of the Meridian system is also known as the equatorial ascendant and describes how the person sees himself. The point known as the ascendant may actually fall in the twelfth house of the Meridian house system.
The Earth horoscope, or houses of the Earth, have 0° Cancer as the tenth house or MC, and 0° Libra on the first house. Therefore, a person with Sun in Sagittarius would have the Sun in the third house of the Earth. The Earth horoscope represents the Earth and the generality; it is how the person operates in the world.
The ascendant is the first house of the ascendant horoscope. Subsequent houses occur at equal 30° intervals. The ascendant horoscope represents the person's connection to their environment and how he or she operates in a specific locale.
The Sun horoscope is found by using the Sun as the fourth house cusp. Subsequent houses occur at equal 30° intervals. The Sun horoscope represents the physical body as well as the relationship to the father.
The Moon horoscope is found by using the Moon as the tenth house cusp. Subsequent houses occur at equal 30° intervals. The Moon horoscope describes the emotional life of the individual as well as the mother.
The node horoscope is found by using the node as the first house cusp. Subsequent houses occur at equal 30° intervals. The node horoscope represents the intimate or karmic connections.
The hypothetical, or "trans-Neptunian" planets, are probably the most controversial aspect of the system. However, after the discovery of Neptune, it was very much in fashion for astronomers to postulate the orbits and existence of new planets. The orbits of the planets were derived by looking back through events and charts and filling in the missing threads. Witte proposed the first four planets, and he and Sieggrun proposed the second four. The planets are: Cupido, Hades, Zeus, Kronos, Apollon, Admetos, Vulcanus, and Poseidon. The fastest of the eight, Cupido, moves slightly more than 1° per year. The slowest, Poseidon, moves about /i° per year. The planets and their meanings are:
Cupido: rules marriage, family, groups, society, the arts, cliques, and clannish-ness.
Hades: represents poverty, suffering, garbage, filth, secrets, loneliness, decomposition, antiquity, and service in the highest or lowest sense.
Zeus: signifies fire, weapons, the military, machinery, conception, creativity, purposeful action, drive, and obsessions.
Kronos: rules authority, government, rulers, nobility, mastery, independence, anything above average, superiority.
Apollon: symbolizes great success, expansion, multitudes or the many, open spaces, peace, commerce and trade, science, great intellect, and the "big picture" as opposed to the details.
Admetos: symbolizes the beginning and the end (the wheel of life), endurance, depth, focus, specialization, the few, raw materials, real estate, standstill, death, and blockages. Vulcanus: represents great strength, power, mighty forces, fate, destiny, control issues, and violent eruptions. Poseidon: symbolizes enlightenment and wisdom, the life force, spirituality, light, universality, mediumistic, visionary, and the intellectual.
All major astrological software programs contain Uranian astrology tools. Based on the speculative orbits of the Uranian planets, the Solar Fire, Kepler, and Win*Star programs will all locate these hypothetical planets in an astrological chart.
—Madalyn Hillis-Dineen sources:
Booher, Wayne, Gary Christen, and Arlene Nimark. Various articles. National Council for Geo-
cosmic Research Journal (Winter 1991-92). Simms, Maria Kay. Dial Detective: Investigation with the 90 Degree Dial. San Diego: Astro Computing Services, 1989.
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