Uranus in Aries – Brave New World

by Nick Owens, Agent 37

At 1:43 AM UTC on Friday 28 May 2010, Uranus moved into Aries.  Taking approximately 84 years to complete one revolution of the zodiac, Uranus last ingressed into the first zodiac sign on 1 April 1927, and remained there until 28 March 1935, when it finally moved into Taurus.  Although Uranus will station retrograde on 5 July 2010 at 0º35’ Aries and return to Pisces from 14 August 2010 until 12 March 2011, it will subsequently remain in Aries until 15 May 2018, when it moves into Taurus.

Being the first sign of the zodiac, Aries represents the spark of new life, the almost pre-conscious urge to act, the impulse to step forth and initiate a process.  It is about projection of will into the world, pushing forward with directed force, assertion of self against the surroundings.  Being of the cardinal mode (enterprising, initiating, action-oriented) and the fire element (spontaneity, intuition, imagination, future-oriented, concerned with possibilities, vivacious and lively), Aries is not interested in following others, in towing the line, in exercising care and patience; Aries acts directly, impulsively, simply, bluntly.  It is the very spirit of life, of animation, of movement, of impulse.

Uranus, being the planet that represents the human urge to transcend limitations – physical, psychological, emotional, technological – is generally regarded as a somewhat disruptive influence, associated with sudden shifts of perspective, flashes of deep insight, drastic changes, unexpected developments and rebelliousness.  It is associated with intense discharges of energy, electrical currents, lightning, epileptic seizures.  Uranus tends to the bizarre, eccentric, perverse, extreme.  Like Prometheus who stole the creative fire of the gods and gave it to humanity, the principle of Uranus is the creativity of the magus, the daring to see beyond the immediate or proximal appearances in order to envision the greater context, the pure objectivity of the best scientific endeavour, the refusal to accept ne plus ultra and the audacity to challenge orthodox ideology.

Politically, the period of the late 1920’s and the early 1930’s were characterised by bold advances by the parties of the far-right (Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, the southern US, etc.) in opposition to popular and widespread socialist and communist movements.  In the USSR, the communist forces showed no limits in their use of force to impose their sociopolitical vision.  Although many of the crises and wars directly resulting from these movements did not occur until the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, this period of Uranus in Aries was a time when previously inconceivable plans and ideas (because of their extreme nature) were put into action.  The early thirties witnessed the height of the activities of the Ku Klux Klan, the legalisation and promulgation of euthanasia and sterilisation for ‘non-pure’ or disabled or otherwise ‘socially undesirable’ people in Germany, but also, positively, the Salt March and Indian peaceful independence movement led by Gandhi, and the New Deal policies of Franklin D Roosevelt in the US.

In terms of humanitarian law and justice, the International Red Cross / Red Crescent was established in October 1928, with a mission to tend to the medical needs of casualties of war regardless of political / national identification, exemplifying the capacity to promote the highest principles of the human ethic in the midst of violence and combat.

This time saw the public demonstration of long-distance television transmission as well as colour television and the start of televised sporting and political events.  This is significant as Aries is particularly associated with the eyes and the visual sense.  Movie-theatres began to screen ‘talkies’, ending the era of silent movies, adding to the immediacy of the cinematic experience.  Air travel became widespread on an intercontinental basis, with several records set for first solo flights across oceans and continents.  Other inventions included the radiosonde, the cyclotron, and the rocket-powered aircraft.

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel about the future, widely seen as a reaction to the uncritical progressivism and self-centred culture of modernity, was published in 1931.  Flash Gordon, the original comic superhero, was first published in January 1934.  The Museum of Modern Art opened in New York in 1929, indicating the awareness of a major change of genre and context within the visual arts – this is arguably the most influential modern art museum in the world.  So, all up, this was a time of bold new ideas applied and enacted, sudden advances in speed of communication and transport, unfettered assumption of executive power, courageous challenge to existing authorities, identification with ‘fitness’, bravery, purity, success, advancement, unapologetic victory.

We need to keep in mind, however, that while Uranus was in Aries during these years, it was forming its closing square to Pluto.  These squares were exact on 22 April 1932 (20º02’ Aries and Cancer), 2 September 1932 (22º55’ Aries and Cancer), 9 March 1933 (21º23’ Aries and Cancer), 5 November 1933 (24º44’ Aries and Cancer) and 18 January 1934 (23º35’ Aries and Cancer).  This may explain some of the focus of the fascist policies on race, genetic fitness and mythic nationalism, as our notions of our very origins, birth endowment and our biological provenance and how these can be feared or used as the currencies of great power transactions, are redolent of Pluto in Cancer.  The Uranus in Aries part of these squares seems to be more reflective of the unwillingness to see any appropriate boundary to these notions, the refusal to be bound by older or more traditional moral guides to how these issues should be treated, and more than this, a sense of impatience with imperfections, an impetuous arrogant will to ‘play God’ in determining who is fit and capable and who is useless, and to hasten such inevitable conflict as occurs between viability and non-viability (however these terms are to be defined).

And now Uranus is back in Aries, and this time it will again be squaring Pluto, although not exactly until 2012 (after which the aspect will perfect 7 times until 2015), which will be in Capricorn this time round, the opposite sign to Cancer.  The degrees of cardinal signs affected (namely Aries and Capricorn) will be from approximately 6º to 15º, somewhat earlier than the previous series of squares discussed above.  Where Pluto in Cancer showed us the horror of untramelled forces of racism and nationalism, and the tyranny that can exist within the notion of family, Pluto in Capricorn is exposing the nasty truths underlying the state, corporatism, and social, legal, political and religious institutions in general.

It will be interesting to see what new, bold, shocking visions of the world will be fought for in the coming decade:  will we see the courage to confront the major problems affecting the globe like pollution, resource depletion and inequality, climate change and militant corporatism, or will long-unquestioned limits to human endeavour in these areas be transgressed without restraint?  Perhaps we need to focus our minds on the best of Uranus (implacable principles, willingness to change deeply, even reverse direction, creative genius, humanism, rationalism, constant questioning and never accepting traditional answers) as well as the best of Aries (leadership, direction, bravery, honesty, spontaneity) to fashion principles that may be a guide to the turbulence of the years ahead.

This article was first published on 29 May 2010 at the old C*I*A – Zone X blog.