Rob Tillett has been an astrologer for more than three decades. In previous incarnations a poet, musician, magician, healer, dramatist & composer, he is the editor and publisher of AstroScope Me and has written many articles on this website.
Rob lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.
Rules: Aquarius with Saturn Exalted: (? no traditional exaltation) Detriment: (? no traditional detriment) Fall: (? no traditional fall) Planetary node:13°51' Gemini
Because Uranus, being almost invisible to the naked eye, was first "discovered" in 1781, there is no traditional rulership or exaltation. Modern astrologers generally agree that Uranus is well-placed in Aquarius and may be said to be the co-ruler of that sign, though Saturn is definitely the traditional ruler.
Rob Tillett presents a short description of the astrological meaning of Uranus, the freedom-loving sky god, harbinger of catastrophe, unexpected disruption, radical, unorthodox ideas and awakener of genius...
Uranus, the planet of sudden and unexpected changes, rules freedom and originality. In society it rules radical ideas and people, as well as revolutionary events that upset established structures. Uranus among all planets most governs genius.
The personal implications of Uranus in your life are shown by its house position and its aspects with other planets in your chart. It describes areas of unpredictability and difference. Being highly unorthodox, Uranus identifies the unusual or unique. Friends and associations to which you belong are indicated, as is your potential involvement with arcane studies, science and technology, computers, and the media.
Uranus, one of the outer transpersonal planets, takes around seven years to transit one sign, or about 84 years to move through all twelve signs. Groups of people with Uranus in the same sign are separated by 84 years, so the influence of this planet is primarily generational. Nevertheless, Uranus transits and hard aspects to the natal chart can be especially disruptive.
Mid-Life Crisis... or Uranus Opposition!
When Uranus by transit reaches the opposite point in your chart to his natal position, astrologers call this the Uranus Opposition. The aspect, occurring at around 40 years of age, might best be described as a sign of the mid-life crisis. Under this influence, most people experience some sort of trepidation regarding the future, as well as unsettling reflections on the past. It is a time when generations clash: your generation clashes with the fashions, ideas and ways of the rising generation.
Though you may feel rather outdated by the "new wave", this is not designed to make you feel old, only different. You are probably just as unwilling to give up the sense of uniqueness that belongs to your own age-group as the current generation is to give up their particular approach and accept that your generation is unique in any way at all. Little meeting of the minds (or tastes) is found during this phase. Unless your work (or the work of those with a strong influence in your life) depends on finding ways for directly opposing forces to compromise, it is best not to let such conflict disrupt your life.
Because Uranus is almost completely invisible to the naked eye, it was not included in the ancient schema of astrology. In fact, despite having been observed by telescope since 1690, it was not officially "discovered" until March 13, 1781, by English astronomer, Sir William Herschel. He named it Georgium Sidus (George's Star) after his patron King George III, but his discovery was later renamed Herschel, by astronomer Jérôme Lalande.
The more mythologically appropriate Uranus – Uranus was the father of Saturn, just as Saturn was the father of Jupiter – was selected by German astronomer Johann Bode (who in 1772 had predicted its location via Bode's Law) and first published in 1823, though not finally accepted by HM Nautical Almanac Office until 1850. Uranus, which has a set of rings and 27 known satellites, was the first planet to be "discovered" by telescope, thus expanding the known solar system and creating considerable uproar in academic circles. It is unusual in that it rotates on its side, like a ball, rather than spinning like top, as do other planets. Quite unconventional! For interesting scientific facts on Uranus, click here.
Visibility and Rulership
Despite this scientific furore, Uranus is actually visible even to the naked eye under certain conditions. There is evidence that ancient astronomers had observed (and named) Uranus, though they chose not to incorporate it in the astrological schema, perhaps partly due to its dimness and slow movement. Consequently, Uranus has no traditional rulership or exaltation, though many modern astrologers claim that Uranus has replaced Saturn as the ruler of Aquarius. Modern astrologers generally agree that Uranus is well-placed in Aquarius and may be said to be the co-ruler of that sign, though Saturn definitely remains the traditional ruler.
My own view is that Uranus should not be given exclusive rulership of Aquarius, as the Aquarian temperament is generally more stable, intellectual and goal-directed than might be expected if the sign of the Water-Bearer were to be ruled by outrageous, disruptive Uranus alone. There are other cogent reasons, too, though they lie beyond the scope of this brief article.
Interestingly, research has discovered that Uranus's nodes are very significant aspects in a natal horoscope. Conjunctions of major chart factors to Uranus's nodes impart individuality, inventiveness and individuality.
Music of the Spheres
Ancient astronomers, starting at least with Pythagoras, held that the Earth was the centre of the universe and that the planets and stars occupied positions in a series of concentric, crystal spheres surrounding the Earth. Each sphere corresponded to a note in the musical scale. The spheres rotated and the subtle sound generated was called the Music of the Spheres. By attuning to the music of the spheres, one could place oneself into harmony with the cosmos.
The music of the spheres is more than a beautiful poetic intuition. The dynamics of the solar system, first laid bare by Kepler's mathematical genius, are directly analogous to the laws of musical harmony. Interestingly, modern scientists have determined that planets broadcast unique radio signal patterns, which when translated into audible frequencies, make good listening. Thus planets could be said to "sing". Check out the "Sounds of Uranus", recorded by the Voyager mission.