As a way of introducing the primary concepts about this planetary formation about to begin, in November 3rd 2008 and that it will remain until the end of 2011, which no doubt will mark an important period for the world and in particular for each of us, in different personal ways, i have chosen this article by the great Dane Rudhyar, one of my favorite astrologers of all time.
In it, he speaks of the meaning of these two great planets, in depth, for us to familiarise ourselves with the forces at play in this coming period.
In their incredible cosmic dance, they will come to oppose themselves in several occasions, starting in November 3-4 in the signs of Pisces (Uranus) and Virgo (Saturn) at about 19º.
In February 4-5, 2009 at about 21º.
In September 15-16, 2009 at about 25º.
In April 27-28, 2010 at about 29º, always within Pisces-Virgo
in July 26-27, 2010 at about 0º 25′ of Aries-Libra
This last encounter is the last exact opposition they will do, and this time linking with Pluto in Capricorn.
But first, Dane Rudhyar and then our conclusions.
You may need to read this article more than once!
When a nation or, as today, the whole of humanity has been shaken up by a crisis of extreme gravity, certain kinds of psychological reactions are almost inevitable — collective reactions which affect the emotional responses and cultural outlook of a whole generation. These reactions may take a variety of forms; but, essentially, they represent a strong inner urge to extol the irrational, to glorify nonsense, perhaps to scoff at some of the most traditional values and institutions of the past. In some cases, there is as well a tendency to escape to “artificial paradises” or else deliberately to shock by picturing the most brutal and hopeless kinds of tragic situations, crime, rape and torture.
We have seen instances of such collective reactions in France after the defeat of 1871, when “Symbolists” and “Decadents” produced a characteristic type of literature which became the source later on, after World War I, of the movement called “Surrealism,” in which dreams and particularly fantastic nightmares filled books and painting exhibits. The years following the First World War saw also in France the rise of “Dadaism” and the cult of the nonsensical — and in Germany and other nations, the spread of “Expressionism” with its glorification of emotional tragedy and distortion. After World War II, in a France torn by internecine strife, “Existentialism” became popular as a form of bitter and chaotic protest; and similar movements occurred nearly everywhere. In America, we have our “beatniks” and their espousal of the Japanese form of Buddhism known as Zen, which uses extraordinarily irrational and seemingly nonsensical methods to produce a psychological shock intended to “Liberate” the individual from his bondage to the rational framework that gives form and stability to his ego.
To the astrologer, all such collective responses to national or world situations which have crucially challenged the status quo and the taken-for-granted beliefs of the past are manifestations of the power represented by the planet Uranus. Every student of astrology knows, of course, that Uranus is to be considered the planet of revolution, sudden transformation, unexpected challenges to action. Uranus is the great disturber of all seemingly “settled” situations; thus, it is the enemy of Saturn, whose function it is to consolidate and settle everything within well-defined, clearly limited boundaries and logical, rational systems of thought.
It is easy, however, to pigeonhole Uranus in one’s mind as the rebel, the apostle of change and revolutionary doctrines and think that is all there is to it. Such a description tends to see in this Uranian power something abnormal that occurs only suddenly and at relatively rare intervals in the life of an individual or nation. The truth is that the energy represented by Uranus is an ever-present force which one should seek to understand and with which one, should come to terms, realizing that its action is essential for the higher forms of our activity.
An illustration might make my meaning clearer. We often think of Uranus under the symbol of the lightning which strikes suddenly and violently. But we do not realize that the millions of lightning discharges which strike the soil every year all over the globe release a precious chemical element, nitrogen, essential to the development of life on earth. Franklin’s experiment with lightning is known in popular tradition as the source of our attempts at making electricity our servant. Without electricity, our century would indeed not be too different from the preceding ones, “for better or for worse” — or should we really reverse the terms?
Man has become “married” to electricity, and this Uranian union has indeed transformed almost everything that can be called “human.” Three important points relative to this transformation of human consciousness and social behavior should be stressed, I believe, because they are basic, yet not obvious. Without understanding these points — which are closely related to one another — it would be impossible to ascertain and assess the true meaning of all that Uranus indicates in an astrological chart.
1. The courage to be “inconsistent”
When the first primitive man — I heard an archaeologist claim it must have been a woman! — had the courage to sow into the ground seeds which could have helped him or her to pass through the normal food scarcity of winter months, because he or she had faith in the utterly mysterious power of self-multiplication inherent in the seed, this ancestor of ours began not only agriculture, but man’s “marriage” to Uranus. It was obviously not consistent with common sense to go without assured food in the faith that some miraculous process would increase eventually and regularly our food supply.
It was already a remarkable step to store up wild grains or the meat of slain animals and ration the daily use of the stored food so as to last through the winter; but that was a Saturnian step. It accepted limitations and controls based on a “rational” estimation of the number of mouths to feed during a carefully calculated period of time. Saturn reasons carefully with the data one has. The food was there; the people were there all of it very concrete, very clear and altogether susceptible of “quantitative measurement” and “statistics” (the idols of our modern scientific mentality!). But a star-eyed visionary stole some of the seed and instead of killing the animals, in order to preserve them in ice, mated them for progeny. Woe to the non-conformist! Was it not supremely inconsistent to stop the flow of food to greedy mouths in the fantastic hope of a miracle of multiplication?
A river flows peacefully through a gorge, watering the plains below. Some queer individual comes along with a dream and decides to dam the river at the gorge. This, of course, stops the flow; the plains below become parched. People may partially starve. Yet, in time, a hydroelectric power plant is made possible. Thereafter, man may have both water and electricity, food and power, plus light to read by and change night into day — also instinct into intelligence.
These, of course, are only illustrations — symbols, if you wish so to call them. They both are illustrations of processes in which a sequence of events is interrupted by human acts motivated by a faith, a vision, a grasp of “higher principles.” These human acts break the continuity of normal, traditionally accepted and proven valid behavior. They stop something; they produce a pause during which the normal flow of events is hindered. During that “pause,” a higher principle of existence can (or at least may) operate — a Uranian pause.
When we say of a person bringing up an argument to prove a point that he is “consistent,” we mean that his speech reveals a continuous sequence of known causes and expected results, of accepted premises and rational deductions. The continuity of his thinking is evident, and the arguments are contained within the framework of a well-tested logic. The trouble with such a procedure, however, is that it produces only results of the same order as the experiences which originally helped to devise the procedure. In a very real sense, the nature and quality of one’s search condition in advance what one will find. If we use Saturnian means to solve a problem, the solution will not leave the realm of Saturn. Likewise, all the discoveries of modern science are conditioned by the scientific methods and quantitative techniques used in the process of discovery. The universe we see today is the universe as our “scientific” mind allows us to see it. It assuredly is not the universe in all its reality! It is the universe seen through the Saturnian consistency of our logical ways of thinking.
Can we not have the courage to be inconsistent, in the faith — or at least the hope — that through the solution of continuity (the break, the hiatus, the pause), some new principle of existence may become operative or may be dimly perceived?
Of course, if we do let ourselves be inconsistent, we open the door to all sorts of possibilities; and some of them may be quite dangerous indeed. In modern psychology according to C. G. Jung, one speaks of the “sudden eruption into the conscious of the dark contents of the unconscious”; and the result may be insanity for the individual or mass psychosis for a nation (as in the case of Nazi Germany). But what is unconscious is certainly not always “dark” — or it is dark only in the sense that the spotlight of consciousness has not yet been focused on such unfamiliar elements of existence.
The important point here is that our protection resides in the fact of consistency. As long as the chain of rational elements is unfolding without breaks, all goes more or less well. At least, while you may be neurotic (i. e., obsessed by the meaninglessness and futility of almost everything), you are not psychotic or really insane. There is no “solution of continuity” in our conscious personality; you are in one piece because the tight bondages of your ego make of you a well-structured and safe mummy — safe against escaping into a “new world,” safe against rebirth through metamorphosis.
Uranus makes you, as an ego-controlled personality, unsafe. It punches holes in the fabric of your thinking. Strange breaks occur in the warp and woof of your personal sense of identity. You begin to ask: “Who am I? What am I?” Then the common-sense flow of taken-for-granted feelings and thoughts develops strange barrages, rapids, waterfalls. You are no longer sure, no longer secure. Poor old Saturn’s power is broken, perhaps where it was most vital, at the place of power, at the “I” level. But through the gaping wound, a new god may reveal itself, heralded by Uranus.