Uranus and Crisis

Shock is a Uranian word. Electricity shocks us if we are not properly grounded—and we also behave in shocking ways when we are not grounded, i.e., centered. Sometimes we need a great shock in our lives in order to jolt us out of inertia. Donald Bradley said that Uranus is the planet of progress through shock, startling us out of complacency.

Some people seem to need to create crisis. Not only is it exciting (Uranus' energies are electric), but often a crisis is the only way we know to get moving. This all-too-human trait is partly due to inertia and resistance to change--sometimes we need that heightened emotion and awareness to motivate us.

Uranian types, however, can sometimes be addicted to excitement and crisis for the sheer adrenaline rush. They bore easily and may act provocatively in order to get a rise out of those around them. When carried to an extreme— often the case when natal Uranus is strong and makes many difficult aspects—the more volatile Uranians might even be called loose cannons.

Creating a crisis can also be a response to social pressure against change—people around us usually don't like the status quo disturbed and will pressure us not to rock the boat. As a result, we often unconsciously create a crisis that will be deemed sufficient cause for the desired change. For

instance, married people who have a good home and family but just don't love their spouse any more will have a hard time breaking away unless some dramatic event occurs (e.g., by getting caught cheating, or by an incident of domestic violence). Or you may have a secure, lucrative job that bores you to tears. If you quit for something insecure and less lucrative but more exciting, others demand an explanation—"Why did you do that? You had a perfectly good job." Getting fired solves the problem—it appears not to be your own choice.

Because there are powerful pressures on all of us to conform and to repress our self-expression and individuality, we may feel that we have to have a reason or excuse to break away from situations that keep us from being ourselves. A Uranus transit often accompanies the kind of crisis that gives us permission to make the change we've been wanting but didn't have the courage to make. The drawback is, change and crisis imposed from the outside can be painful and destructive. Why break a leg—why not just break away? Or take a break, now and then?

The courage to be who you are can arise from expressing Uranus well. Finding constructive ways of expressing your uniqueness regularly will make more destructive eruptions unlikely. The corporate executive who is a weekend biker is one example, as is the middle class wife and mother who flies away to an astrology conference a couple of times a year to be with people who share her symbolic language. Analyzing Uranus's sign, house, and aspects in your birth chart can teach you much about how to express your uniqueness in exciting, creative, and constructive ways. If you aren't that far along in your studies, a session with an astrologer can put you in touch with this facet of yourself.

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It is remarkable how often current circumstances and moods mirror the planet I am writing or teaching about. Classes on Mercury or Gemini are full of sidetracks, jokes, and lively discussions, while classes on Saturn are dead serious and even faintly depressing. Never has this principle been so true as in writing this chapter on Neptune, which has taken NINE months. (In numerology, 9 represents Neptune.) Neptune is hazy and mysterious; the folder containing my material on Neptune has twice vanished completely for months at a time. In true Neptunian fashion, I took that as an omen that I wasn't meant to write the chapter yet. Neptune is nebulous and resists structure, and another reason this chapter took so long is because I hadn't a clue about how to structure it, though I usually have no trouble organizing my writing.

It's not surprising that many of us find ourselves at sea on this topic—Neptune was the god of the sea, and the planet Neptune has powerful connections with the ocean. Fish are a symbol for Pisces, which Neptune rules, and also for Christianity, a major religious development of the Piscean Age.

The primeval force of the ocean holds a special fascination for Neptunian people, soothing and calming them1. High tides and low ebbs mark the rhythm of our lives, but the Neptunian can spend a lifetime—or several—learning to accept the reality that the tide can't always be in. During low ebbs, Neptunians may seek addictive substances (another form of Neptune) to get them "high" again, but if they rely too much on these artificial means, they can get "hooked"...start drinking like a fish, for instance.

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