The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 320, titled:
With Chris Brennan and Rick Levine
Episode originally released on September 24, 2021
Note: This is a transcript of an audio podcast. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio version, which includes inflections that may not translate well when written out. Transcripts are created by using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and the text probably contains some errors and differences from the audio version. Please submit any corrections to Chris Brennan by email at email@example.com.
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released October 7, 2021
Copyright © 2016 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, I’m going to be talking with astrologer Rick Levine about the meaning of the planet Uranus in astrology. Hey Rick, welcome to the studio.
RICK LEVINE: Welcome to the studio for a second time. We had a little bit of a Uranus transit, did we not?
CB: We did. This is attempt number two to record this episode and we started recording about an hour ago and then 30 seconds I think into it, the power cut off in the entire building and Saturn was actually right on the Ascendant in Aquarius at that moment, and we lost power for about an hour.
RL: Yeah, completely. Everything just went absolutely dark like a Uranian lightning strike. We couldn’t have planned it better or worse.
CB: Right. So maybe I’ll put like an outtake maybe at the end of this episode or something like that so people can see that because that was really brilliant. I mean, yeah, sometimes when you’re doing astrology and you’re talking about the planets like sometimes you invoke the planet.
RL: You do. And in fact, the power came back on as Jupiter hit the Ascendant. It just blipped on just slightly. And then when Pisces began to rise, Jupiter’s domicile, then we were able to begin recording again. The timing is just crazy.
CB: Yeah, I love that. In this episode, so this is part of my ongoing series on the meaning of each of the planets in astrology and we’re going to read through some passages from different astrologers. We’re going to talk about the history of the planet and its discoveries since this is the first of the outer planets. We’re also going to read some passages from astrologers from the past and how they talked about Uranus to get some context about how astrologers have talked about the planet.
RL: But not very far in the past.
CB: Yeah, we’re only going to go maybe 100 or 150 years in the past because that’s as far as we can go when it comes to Uranus, which was only discovered a few centuries ago. And then we’re going to use that as a jumping off point to riff on that and talk about the meaning of the planet as well as maybe some combinations with other planets as well. Yeah. You’ve seen the other episodes we’ve done on the planets?
RL: I’ve seen a couple of them, yeah.
CB: Okay, cool. Well, I thought you would be a good person for the planet Uranus because you actually have Uranus rising in the first house, right?
RL: I do. It’s definitely in the first house. It’s about 10° off the Ascendant, but it is the first planet up. And on top of that, I have an Aquarius Midheaven. And on top of that, I have four planets and the north node in the 11th house. So even though I am an Aries, I often introduce myself as an Aquariarian. And yes, definitely I identify with Uranus.
CB: Okay, do you mind if I show your chart?
RL: Absolutely not.
CB: I asked you ahead of time, but I always like to make sure. So here’s your chart. What’s your birth data for the audio listeners?
RL: April 6, 1949, and that would be in the Bronx, New York. And it’s 8:32 a.m. I don’t know whether-
CB: Sorry, is that right?
RL: It’s too tiny. Some places have 8:29 because that’s what I had for years, but it’s close enough.
CB: I’ve got 8:27.
RL: Yeah. It’s actually 8:32, which makes a difference of less than a degree on the Ascendant.
CB: Well, nonetheless, I feel like a failure by having your birth time wrong and I apologize for that ahead of time.
RL: No, it is published everywhere because I actually thought this was my birth time, and about three or four years ago an old birth certificate surfaced.
CB: What? After how many years of practicing astrology?
RL: 40, 50.
CB: Oh wow, that’s wild. Okay. Well, that’s my worst nightmare, some astrologers’ worst nightmare. At least it was the same within the range.
RL: Oh, it was within five minutes of birth time which meant a degree on the Ascendant and none of the other planets changed noticeably obviously.
CB: Okay. So you didn’t have like a complete breakdown? Okay. Your chart just for the audio listeners, you have 15° of Gemini rising and Uranus is also in Gemini at 26° of the same sign, right?
RL: Right. And actually, in the corrected version, it’s 16 Gemini rising so Uranus is 10° off the Ascendant.
CB: Nice. Okay. Well, those are pretty good Uranus accolades then in terms of being my astrologer to talk with about this planet.
RL: And the other thing is that Uranus is sextile to Saturn so that gives me a little bit of authority perhaps or fake authority.
CB: Nice, I’ll take that. Otherwise, you’ve got Aries stellium up there in the 11th whole sign house, the 11th quadrant house as well. Okay. But Moon and Cancer down there in the second-ish and Saturn just barely in Leo at 29 Leo.
RL: Yeah, that’s right. 29 50 Leo. It’s almost Virgo, but it’s retrograde so it’s like don’t make me be a Saturn in Virgo.
CB: Right. And then Jupiter in Capricorn which I also have, so I’m a fan of that placement.
RL: Yeah, I’m always puzzled over the idea of that being opposite its exaltation in its fall and I love my Jupiter in Capricorn. It’s a saving grace in my chart.
CB: Right. Yeah, definitely, same here. All right. Let’s get into talking about the planet Uranus. First off, here’s a little illustration of Uranus and also the glyph or the symbol that for the most part has come to be used for Uranus. There is one variant glyph that’s sometimes used more in European countries, but I think even there this glyph has really started to take over the past few decades, I feel like.
RL: Yeah, this is the glyph that is most widely used. For a while the other one was in more usage. And I love the fact that we can see here clearly that Uranus like Saturn is a ringed planet and that was shocking when we first realized that, but yeah. And the glyph of Uranus in the Ron Davison discussion of the glyphs in his book Astrology, he talks about how a lot of the glyphs have the cross somewhere in the glyph and the cross represents the material world, matter, the cardinal cross, and that with Saturn, the cardinal cross is elevated and we have the curve that backwards us off the bottom. But with Uranus, the cardinal cross is contained within what he calls the pillars of good and evil. In other words, there’s the extreme opposites that are somehow containing the material universe and the whole thing is poised above the sphere of potentiality, the circle. So yeah, it’s a cool glyph. I like the glyph of Uranus.
CB: Yeah, that’s something I’d like to get into, do an episode on at some point, the symbolism of the glyphs and how that’s been interpreted in modern times. I think I talked to Alan Oken about it a little bit because this was the first book where I read about that theory, and he goes into it in one of his books, but that’d be a good episode. With this planet, we have to do some historical background and maybe we should start right there, because Uranus was the first of the newly discovered outer planets after 4,000 years of basically history of Western astronomy and history of science where we only had the seven traditional celestial bodies with the seven traditional “planets” which includes the Sun and the Moon, but also Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, the seven traditional planetary bodies. Eventually on March 13th, 1781, this new planet was discovered and this was actually a big deal because it completely changed our understanding of the solar system in some ways.
RL: Yeah, it actually is a huge deal that we’ll come back to in a few minutes because it was more than just changing our perception of the solar system, the outer world in which we lived, but it also changed our perception of reality in general because it was the first planet that was discovered and considered a planet that we could not perceive with our five senses. And this began a very dramatic and powerful shift that isn’t talked about much because we live in a world now where almost all scientific research occurs in areas of the universe that were invisible to the un-technologically aided senses and Uranus was the lead planet that began that march and it was very significant and still is.
CB: Right. It was discovered using a telescope by William Herschel in 1781. It was the first planet discovered where you needed a piece of technology to see it because it’s so far out and it’s so dim that for a long time in ancient astronomy all you had was the naked eyes. Astrologers/astronomers would go out every night for generations and observe the sky and write down what they saw and this was the interchange between astronomy and astrology in the ancient world. But fast forward all the way to the 18th century basically, and these new technological innovations of telescopes are allowing astronomers to observe things that they hadn’t ever observed before.
RL: Right. And that even actually began but didn’t have astrological impact even in the days of Galileo where he was the first human to observe the fact that Jupiter had satellites or moons going around it, but that didn’t impact astrology the way the discovery of a new planet did.
CB: Yeah, people ask about that sometimes, why aren’t the moons of planets integrated in astrology? And the answer is that it’s because they’re so close to the planet that in an ephemeris their location is effectively like the same basically.
RL: And there may be something that would lead to in some analysis that would not be based upon zodiacal position, but then again if we were born on the space station circling Jupiter, then the location of not only what are called the four Jovian moons, but I don’t know how many of them are discovered now, 20 or so, they may all be of importance.
CB: Yeah. People ask that question also all the time, what happens when people start being born on different planets? And part of the answer is that you have to create a completely new astrology relative to that location cause astrology always operates relative to the location of the observer. That will be fun at some point. Technology and that’s part of our first entry point into understanding what Uranus means is understanding how it was discovered and understanding that it was only discovered partially through the use of technology and that gives some basic insight initially into what it actually started meaning astrologically or in a symbolic context.
RL: Yeah. Most people who know the story of Uranus’s discovery point out that it was discovered at a time in history that was between two arguably most important revolutions, the American Revolution, the foundation of the United States of America, and the French Revolution, both of which were in some ways the revolution against an autocratic Saturnian royal rulership and replacing it with the government of the people. I mean, this was like a novel idea and so the connection of Uranus to the idea of independence and revolution here is significant. But there’s another thing that’s also very significant and that is around the same time we had the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier who is credited with discovering oxygen. Now on the surface is like there’s no connection, but there’s a very fascinating connection. Lavoisier was the first president of the French Academy of Science. And what he discovered, we learn in school he discovered oxygen. But actually, if you had been alive at that time, what he discovered was that there was something that the flame consumed that was real substance that we couldn’t perceive with our naked eye. Sound like a familiar theme to Uranus? In other words, we used to believe that the flame burned and it just consumed air. In fact, the word I think was phlogiston was the Latin word for that which burned in air. But it was Lavoisier who put a flame in a bell jar, covered it and weighed it. And as the flame self-extinguished, something was consumed because the flame went out and the jar weighed less. And he concluded there was something there that we couldn’t see. And now of course, we have a table of chemical elements that has some 115 or 120 elements that most of which we can’t see. And so again, the discovery of Uranus begins a part of the human evolution that moved us from a world that was limited by Saturn. What you see is what you get. That’s it. If you can’t perceive it, it’s not real. Yeah, there was something out there. The mystics knew that there was something else. There was something magical. There was something. But now all of a sudden, the invisible became part of the scientific domain and that is very significant in understanding the timing of around the Uranian discovery.
CB: Right. Saturn is like the last visible planet and so it tends to sometimes get associated with some physical or material type things that which is like concrete and that which can be seen with the naked eye. But then once we get to Uranus, we’re in this weird intermediate stage where it wasn’t discovered until somebody viewed it with a telescope. There are some rare instances we can see it with the naked eye and that should be stated because that’s probably relevant as well, this weird fact that it is in this intermediate space almost like in between because once you go past Uranus to Neptune, for example, there’s just no viewing that with the naked eye whatsoever, so that’s another step up in some sense. And apparently, Uranus was viewed actually there were some star maps and stuff where accidentally they saw Uranus and marked it as a star not realizing that it was actually a planet. And initially, I think what William Herschel thought it was, a star, and he wrote it down, he came back at some later point and the star had moved, which stars are not supposed to do. That’s why we call them fixed stars in astrology.
RL: Yeah, that’s all true and that’s all intriguing. But as you were talking, I was also thinking that the discovery of Uranus and the use of technology really is a very basic part of the Uranian influence. And that is the future, that is technology. It is innovation, it is the extension of our thinking on beyond Saturn. And correct me if I’m wrong, but in the Hellenistic philosophy, life itself has to pass through the gates of Saturn in order to begin its journey and its descent into the earthly realm. Is that accurate?
CB: Yeah. In some of the philosophical schools, there’s this belief that the soul descends through the planetary spheres and it picks up properties as it goes through each of the planets until eventually it incarnates and you’re born into the material world on earth. But then when the person dies, the soul is said to ascend back through the planetary spheres and they give back those qualities back to each of the planets.
RL: I think it’s very significant to understand, again, the importance of Uranus because Uranus is the first inclination that we as astrologers began to get that physical death is not the end. Because previously, Saturn was that ultimate gate. Beyond Saturn, there was nothing until you got to the fixed sphere of fixed stars and now all of a sudden, there was something else. And I don’t think we moderners can quite grasp the idea of living in a world where Saturn had been the outward circumference, the outward bound, the limit of human consciousness for millennia. And all of a sudden in one afternoon, it’s like the lightning strikes, Uranus the awakener, the awareness of no, this place is three times bigger than we thought. That’s huge. Three times bigger meaning that there are three Saturn cycles roughly in a Uranus cycle Saturn being roughly a under 30-year cycle and Uranus being an under 90-year cycle more closer to 84. But still the length of movement of transition of process on earth went from 29 and a half years to some 84 years.
CB: Right. Yeah. Well, and also at that time, you mentioned because one of the things that comes up that astrologers had never had to do before for the most part is figure out what a new planet means and what is your access point for even starting to figure that out. And one of the things that eventually developed, especially later that’s relevant here that you already mentioned, is what things were occurring around the time in the world in general and in terms of just the human population that were like new developments or that were unique developments that characterized that moment in time. And so, you mentioned a number of them. For example, the culminationn of The Enlightenment Period, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, but also the scientific revolution was already ongoing at that point but also the Industrial Revolution. And just thinking about your mentioning Saturn, and one of the things that made me think about is just how much things had been very much the same in life for centuries, technologically speaking. There were advancements and developments, but they tended to happen a little bit more slowly.
RL: They were incremental not quantum.
CB: Yeah, because all of a sudden, once Uranus is discovered and we hit the time period of the Industrial Revolution, technology just starts growing by leaps and bounds until we’re at the point where we’re at today where things are just crazy compared to only a few centuries ago.
RL: Yeah. And I think again, the connection with Uranus to technology in general. I mean, let’s not forget that this is also around the period of time of the first delving into the relationship between electricity and nature. Benjamin Franklin, actually, I don’t think it was him, I think it was his grandson who actually went out and flew the kite. But the point is that until then no one acknowledged, no one knew that lightning was electricity. And around that same time, I think it was Galvani who discovered that you could take a dead frog, sorry if this offends anyone, and you could apply electricity to two points on the frog’s leg, on a dead frog’s leg, and it would twitch as if it was alive. And the connection that the nervous system is electrical as is lightning, these were huge breakthroughs. But again, they occurred around the discovery of Uranus, which we will get to in a bit, it turns out to be really electrical in its nature.
CB: Yeah, which we discovered today by our own experimentations in the beginning of this episode. I want to take a little passage from Richard Tarnas’s Cosmos and Psyche, where he’s talking about some of the stuff that was happening culturally in terms of the world in general around the time of the discovery of Uranus and he says, the championing of human freedom and individual self-determination, the challenge to traditional beliefs and customs, the fervent revolt against royalty and aristocracy, established religion, social privilege, and political oppression, the declaration of independence and the declaration of the rights of man, liberté and égalité, the beginnings of feminism, the widespread interest in radical ideas, the rapidity of change, the embrace of novelty, the celebration of human progress, the many inventions and technological advances, the revolutions in art and literature, the exaltation of the free human imagination and creative will, the plethora of geniuses and culture heroes. That’s part of what he’s emphasizing because he focused very much on the cultural in Cosmos and Psyche like cultural trends and wrote like a precursor to Cosmos and Psyche, which was The Passion of the Western Mind, and that was just tracing the development of human thoughts. For him, seeing all these things happen in contemporaneous with the discovery of Uranus really informs you more than anything about its nature.
RL: I agree with that, yes. And I think that the list of the things that Rick actually delineates in that some of those are things that we’d already brought up, but that is what Uranian energy really is, one aspect of it anyhow.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right. One of the things that happens, there’s few discussion topics just circling back to that question of how did astrologers even begin to approach figuring out what Uranus meant, and one of the things we want to talk about a little bit I know you want to talk about is the mythological issue because that’s often taken for granted that the mythology of the planet oftentimes these days in the past few decades becomes people’s main access point for figuring out what the astrological significations of any body mean. But I think in fact, going back, there was much more of an empirical focus where it seemed like astrologers were sitting down and starting to put this new body in charts, both in natal charts and also looking at it with timing with things like transits.
RL: And saying what happened? Or what was this person like?
CB: Yeah. And so, there was much more of what I want to call more of like an empirical approach to figuring out what the new planetary body meant.
RL: And that methodology continued with the discovery of Neptune the following century and then Pluto the early 20th century. And certainly, in our time as astrologers or in my time as an astrologer, I have certainly seen it with bodies like Chiron and the exploration of what does this really mean? Yes, it has a name, but what does it actually mean in practice? And even in more modern times, the work of Henry Seltzer and other people with the Kuiper body objects and the things like Eris and those objects, but it’s the same thing. Instead of just going back to the ancient mythology which we were handed as a complete package with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, now we as astrologers actually look at these objects, and in a way we backward engineer them trying to figure out what is their impact, what is their relevance, what do they mean?
CB: Yeah, although I want to push back a little bit because I feel like with Uranus there’s definitely more of an empirical component, with Neptune there’s more of an empirical component. When it came to Pluto, I feel like the astrologers started relying on the mythology more than they had up to that point. And I feel like in the past few decades, that’s the first thing that people jump to, for example, with the asteroids, invoking the name and believing that there’s a synchronistic correspondence between whatever name was given to the new celestial body and that there being an assumption that that name will match what its astrological meaning is to some extent so that’s like an assumption where most astrologers assume that it’s always been the case and so that that should be the first access point, and I feel like astrologers are leaning on that more than they did with the discovery of Uranus and Neptune.
RL: Yeah, I think you’re right. But I also think, at least I’ve observed by reading some of the earlier material on Uranus, in particular Neptune and Pluto, is that when something new is discovered, we tend to look at its worst manifestations. There was nothing positive written about Neptune at first, I mean, at least largely speaking, and now we think of Neptune as the planet of imagination and spirituality and so on. And the same with Uranus, it was originally considered to be a disrupter and it is. Well, it is a disrupter, but it’s also the brilliance of that breakthrough and its ingenuity, innovation. And so I find it interesting that we seem to look for the worst things. Also, Pluto. I mean, Pluto as it was discovered, was the period of the rise of mass fascism in Europe in the early 30s, a difficult period of time. But now we look at Pluto as the basis of what we call evolutionary astrology. And again, I’m not saying that Pluto isn’t those things also, but we look at Pluto as the planet of transformation and evolution so I think it’s an interesting trajectory. And Uranus was the vanguard of this whole process.
CB: Yeah. And one of the things is the idea that, like I said, there’s a synchronistic correspondence because the naming is just happening by astronomers. Astronomers for the most part are the ones naming these celestial bodies and the name given sometimes there’s like reasons for it or like different motivations, but sometimes it’s a little bit-
RL: Yeah, we could have ended up with what we call Uranus as named George.
CB: Yeah, that’s one of the funniest things to me is that to discover William Herschel, he originally tried to name it after the king at the time and so it was like George’s star. It was literally almost named George.
RL: But the French would have nothing to do with that.
CB: Right. So, the French started calling it after Herschel, the discoverer, which again is another funny name. It was either going to be George or it was going to be Herschel. But then eventually, I think there was a German academic who named it Uranus, and that’s stuck eventually. But that brings up a question though because I know one recent astrologer, so Tarnas, for example, has argued that the mythology of Uranus doesn’t actually match Uranus very closely, but instead he’s argued for a few decades now that the mythology of Prometheus actually matches the astrological meaning of Uranus better and that’s something you wanted to talk about a little bit, right?
RL: Well, yeah, I think it’s important to understand, again, that we are not tied automatically to what appears to be a random naming. Now it’s interesting that you look at the asteroids, as we know, there are asteroids named just about anything and everything, albatross, saxophone. Yeah. And it’s crazy the synchronicity that we see when we look at these randomly named objects. However, we no longer are tied to just taking the traditional mythology and just going with it. Uranus has given us maybe the freedom or the independence to break free of that and to actually look at what is this doing? How is this working? What is the mechanical and/or physical and/or metaphysical interpretation or application of these of these planets? And that is a break from the past.
CB: Yeah. I wanted to bring that up just because I think it’s important because one of the implications for me like Tarnas argues that Prometheus is much better myth for Uranus and is more evocative for what it means in astrology, but the conclusion I draw from that is partially a critique that maybe just taking for granted the mythology of the body that was named by some random astrologer, maybe that is not the best primary access point for understanding its meaning, like maybe that’s okay and you can gain some things from it, but maybe that shouldn’t be our initial first and primary building block for understanding the planet. And I would argue that it really wasn’t when it comes to Uranus and Neptune, that astrologers figured out their meanings quite independent for the most part of the mythology of those planets.
RL: Yeah, I would tend to agree and yet, I would also say there is some pretty self-referentially consistent magic that Neptune was named Neptune and that Pluto was named Pluto. I mean, there is. And yet at the by the same token, I think what you’re saying is absolutely true. I think that we really need to back up from what we’ve been handed through mythology and look at that as one aspect of it, but really look at what is going on with these planets.
CB: Before we move on from this point, was there anything else you want to mention specifically from Richard Tarnas’s work? His book was called Prometheus the Awakener. That was actually one of his first astrology books, right?
RL: Yeah, yeah. And this is not quite as much about the connection to Prometheus as it is just a really interesting… He’s writing, I examined the natal planetary positions for Promethean figures. And he was talking about in a previous section of the book about Freud being a Promethean figure. These are people who are intellectual revolutionaries. Prometheus, as we know, stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans.
CB: What is the myth, for thos e that don’t know?
RL: I’m not sure I’d be qualified to do the whole myth.
CB: Okay. Well, that’s good enough, then. He was the guy that stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans and then he was punished for it.
RL: And then he was punished for it. But the point here is that, so Tarnas is saying, I examined the natal planetary positions for Promethean figures, for example, I checked at once the case of Percy Bysshe Shelley since he was so explicitly associated even identified with Prometheus, he wrote up an epic poem called Prometheus Unbound, and found that Shelley was in fact born with the Sun and Uranus in close conjunction. And he goes, he basically says, he looked at chief protagonists of the scientific revolution, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton since these men all appeared to be unambiguous representatives of the Prometheus archetype in both their intellectual character and their cultural role. Upon checking their planetary positions at birth, I found that every one of these five was born with Uranus in a major aspect of the Sun well within conventional orbs. And he goes on from there, but that’s the significant piece that there was this connection between scientific revolution of… We forget that one of the things that Kepler did was that Kepler was the first human to extend human thought into the divine proportion with quantification. And so, in a way, it was almost kind of like this stealing fire from the gods. We knew the planets went round, but Kepler gave us tools to think the mind of God and understand what the laws, what the mechanics were of these moving planets and so Tarnas relates Uranus to these Promethean efforts. I mean, you look at the list of people who would be Promethean characters who in some ways were associated with revolution or technological change, the list is quite long. But even people like Freud and Jung both less scientific but more from a consciousness standpoint, you see that again and again and again.
CB: Okay. Let’s see. Before we move forward, why don’t we just read Tarnas’s list of significations? Usually I go chronologically, but I almost feel like maybe we should read what he says about it to get a bass line. Well, actually, no, I’m going to back up. Sorry, I’ll do this on the fly. Instead, I wanted to make the other point I want to make which is arguing that there was more of an empirical basis for understanding Uranus. And one of the reasons I think this is there’s a great story in Patrick Curry’s book, A Confusion of Prophets subtitled Victorian and Edwardian Astrology, talking about the intermediate period of astrology after the decline of astrology in Europe in the 17th century and before its full-blown revival in the 20th century and late 19th century. He has this story about this astrologer named John Varley, and I want to read it really quickly. He opens his entire chapter on John Varley with this because it’s always been not just a charming story, but an insightful story about how astrologers were actually starting to figure out the new planetary bodies after they were discovered. All right. Patrick Curry says, it is the morning… This is a very long story, by the way, so it’s only like a page and a half though. He says, it is the morning of the 21st of June, 1825. In his studio, one of the several rooms he had leased in the Great Titchfield Street in London’s West End, the artist John Varley is going over his calculations for the day yet again. At 11:00, he calls for his son Albert. Varley gives him his pocket watch, telling him to take it to a watchmaker in nearby Regent Street and have it set precisely by Greenwich time. When the young man returns, his father is still pacing up and down the room. Finally, Varley remarks, I can’t make it out. He explains to his bewildered son that there is an evil aspect in his horoscope that day which comes into operation at a few minutes to noon. The problem is that the planet menacing him is Uranus which having only been recently discovered, he says, is not yet properly understood by astrologers. His reading of the aspect has revealed only that the danger will be sudden and serious, therefore he has already decided to forego his morning’s appointment and stay indoors. But whether the danger is to me personally or to my property, he concludes, I cannot tell. 12:00 approaches, Varley become still more restless and his son more worried. At a few minutes before noon, he sits down and says, “I feel quite well. There’s nothing the matter with me. Could I have made a mistake?” And reaches for his papers and a pencil. At that moment, there’s a cry of fire from outside. They run out into the street only to discover that it is their own house that is in flames from a fire at the piano factory next door. Varley’s response is delight and satisfaction and to his son’s consternation, he immediately returns to his desk to write a quick account of his discovery. By the time it is all over, Varley has lost his home and all of his property, none of which was insured. More importantly, however, in his view, he has verified both the precision of his methods of timing and the evil potentialities of the new planet. Meeting Varley later, the painter Copley Fielding asked if the loss was serious. “No,” he replied, “only the house burned down. I knew something would happen.” That is the story of John Varley from Patrick Curry’s book. And I think that’s really funny to what extent that is true, it gives me some idea of how astrologers were trying to understand this new body by putting it in natal charts and seeing what other planets it was aspecting or connecting with or by looking at it in terms of timing through transits or who knows what else. And as a result of that, they were drawing conclusions after repeated experiences and experiments within their own lives.
RL: Which is what they do even today, yeah, yeah.
CB: Which is straightforward and that’s basically fundamentally empiricism, as for scientific empiricism, by looking at things in practice as opposed to, let’s say, drawing a conclusion through abstract either philosophical or through mythological means.
RL: Right. And as you read that, I got this picture of Varley as being a character, I think, maybe one of the best personifications of the planet Uranus in modern media is Doc in Back to the Future, the professor.
CB: Yeah, Christopher Lloyd
RL: Exactly. And John Varley had that. So what if the house burned down, man? This is amazing. Look what I’m figuring out. I mean, it’s the same kind of energy of the mad scientist who maybe is not mad, maybe the world around the person is mad and that mad scientist… I mean, you don’t ever know in Back to the Future whether Doc is truly crazy or whether everything that he’s doing he’s really doing it. And that’s the thing about Uranus is that it’s on that edge.
CB: The eccentric genius archetype very much. All right. Let’s get into some significations. For video viewers, here’s just some pictures of Uranus. This is one from NASA and here’s another one, this is from Voyager 2. Uranus because of the way it reflects light, it appears as this cyan light bluish green color to us basically.
RL: Yeah, it has a very high reflective surface. I think the word for that is the albedo I believe is the astronomical word for its reflectivity.
CB: Okay, I’ll take your word for that. All right. The first astrologer, we usually start out by going through, previously in the series all the way up until the last planet through Saturn, we’re able to go back and do the second century astrologer, Vettius Valens, we can’t do that. So, I went back only about a century to one of the earlier astrologers I could find which was Sepharial in his book, a New Manual of Astrology from 1898. All right. I read the last one. Do you want to read this one?
RL: Sure, sure. Uranus gives constructive and mechanical ability, sudden changes, estrangement, sorrows, exiles, enmities, uncertain fortunes and blind impulses. It makes its subject erratic, eccentric, impulsive, ingenious and inventive, firm in opinion, critical, sarcastic, self-centered, romantic, heroic, and in many ways, peculiar. Yeah. Planetary dominions, Uranus rules catastrophes, sudden events, changes, bereavements, suicides, romances, tragedies, and public affairs. Planetary occupations, lecturers, public functionaries, government or civic officials, travelers, engineers, inventors, patentees, all of whom follow uncommon pursuits such as astrologers, electricians, mesmerists, there’s a good word we don’t hear a lot. Mesmerists, phonologists, another one, spirit mediums, metaphysicians, and psychologists. Also, those who deal in electrical apparatus, scientific mechanism, etc. Yeah, those are all good.
CB: Nice, all right. That list there’s a lot of really familiar things because that’s what 122 something odd years ago now and there’s a lot of core things on there that are still things I think that astrologers associate with Uranus today, they’re very straightforward showing that by the beginning of the 20th century by like 1900, astrologers had gotten Uranus down relatively well. They’d figured out for the most part what its core meanings were and those meanings have largely stayed consistent up to today as we’ll see. There are a few things on there that are either period specific like talking about mesmerism or that are things that maybe have dropped out a little bit over the past century that astrologers maybe don’t associate with Uranus as much at this point. But for the most part, we’re pretty solid there, right?
RL: Yeah. And I find it interesting that he already associates it with electrical apparatus. And I’d like to just tell a very quick brief story that I think is another telling Uranian story. And that is going back to the discovery of Uranus and people messing around with electricity and then through the 19th century, you had Faraday and Hertz and Maxwell and these people that were not only exploring electricity, but also poking their way into what we now know of as electromagnetism. And going back to the very late 18th century, very early 19th century, the big question on scientific investigators minds was what is the relationship or is there a relationship between electricity and magnetism? That somehow they knew that there was something connecting them, but there was no empirical approach to trying to figure out what their relationship was. And a scientist actually, at that time, they were called natural philosophers not scientists, teaching something that we would maybe call physics at a university in Copenhagen in Denmark, was doing a lecture about the work of I think at that time, Michael Faraday and some of these people who were exploring electricity and he had a closed circuit with a volt meter which measures electrical current with a battery in the circuit. And he showed that when he completed the circuit, the volt meter registered electrical current. And when he disconnected it, there was no registering of any current. And when he completed the circuit without the battery, there was no registering of any current. But he had this magnet that was just on the table. And as he’s talking, he brings the magnet over the wire, and this is in a public lecture, and he realizes that as he moves the magnet over the wire back and forth, the volt meter is registering electrical current. And he literally went electricity, magnetism, electromagnetism. This was in 1821, the year of a Uranus-Neptune opposition. And it’s crazy that we moderners know that Uranus is the planet that’s associated with electrical energy, we’ll say more about that later, and we know that Neptune is the planet that’s associated more so with what we might call magnetic energy. And in fact, I think that even Sepharial’s commenting on mesmerism and those are more Neptunian things in modern astrology but there was no Neptune yet. Well, there was but there wasn’t really segregated out. And yet the word electromagnetism and the concept of electromagnetism came about at a Uranus electricity Neptune, I said opposition, but I believe it was a conjunction in 1821. Yeah. To me, that’s an incredible story unto itself.
CB: Yeah, I like that. So electricity and certainly in the past a couple of centuries after the discovery of Uranus, electricity has become this hugely important and integral piece of life that’s revolutionized like even living day to day like the ability to turn on a light in your room to have light at night when it’s not naturally daytime out because previously-
RL: To have radios, to have television, to have computers, I mean everything is driven in some way by electrical apparatus at some level.
CB: Yeah. And so, it’s like that and technology is something that can sometimes improve life or change life and to change it radical change but also very quick, fast paced change is something very much associate with Uranus. It’s like we had the benefics, we had Venus and Jupiter which tend to represent like growth or Jupiter with like expansion, but growth tends to be a little bit more slow and–
CB: Yeah, organic, that’s a good one. Whereas Uranus has this artificial component and this rapid component that’s like lightspeed sort of component.
RL: Yes. And I think lightspeed is an important word because when we talk about Uranus, we actually talk about instantaneity or at least the appearance of it unlike magnetism. Magnetism creates a field and as you get closer to it you feel the field, you get a sense, you get a feeling, you can get a pull on the magnet, mesmerism, hypnotism, all of that. And I should note that Sepharial’s piece was actually written during the decade of the Neptune with a once every 400-year Neptune-Pluto conjunction. And so, regardless of what he was writing, it was also coming through this filter of a Neptune-Pluto conjunction that they didn’t know about then yet. But this idea that electricity is sudden. You have an electrical circuit, it’s on or off. You don’t need to warm up the engine on an electrical circuit. When the power went out when we were beginning to record this session, it was instantaneous like lightning. And that whole thing of lightning being related to Uranus, I want to save that for a little bit because there’s a deeper dive on how important that is to understanding how Uranus works, but it’s instantaneous. There is no graduation. And Sepharial has it down, that’s why it’s unexpected. It’s sudden. He used another word, blind impulses, erratic, eccentric, impulsive. You can’t expect it. Like lightning, there can be a storm going on and you can think that lightning is going to happen and then it happens, but you never know when the next strike is going to be or where it’s going to strike. It has that whole element of instantaneous and uncertainity.
CB: Yeah. He said his very second one was sudden changes. And then later he says, sudden events changes. So sudden changes is a great core Uranus one. In terms of like top level Uranus archetypes, that’s got to be one of the core ones is sudden changes.
RL: Different than Saturn or Jupiter because the growth aspect of Jupiter was organic. There was a movement to it. Even in its concept of traveling and education, I mean there was a process involved in Jupiter almost like blowing up a balloon, you could watch it getting bigger. And Saturn also in its karmic aspect, you get what you deserve, but it wasn’t necessarily instantaneous. Yes, there was instant karma is going to get you, but I would imagine that that meant Uranus was involved somehow because Saturn itself took its time in delivering its verdict.
CB: Yeah, I mean even karma in an Indian context is not something that’s usually instant, it can be delivered over lifetimes. So that idea of sudden changes, also changes in technology, there’s been such a rapid change in technology and in the older tradition, something I was thinking about after doing the Mars episode with Sylvi last month, and I also did the Jupiter episode with Sam Reynolds. And one thing that I didn’t emphasize as much as I would have liked is that Mars in traditional astrology is very fast and it speeds up whatever it touches and it’s associated with heat and excessive heat, whereas Saturn is associated with excessive cold and Saturn tends to slow things down. Part of the basic dynamic that you can understand Mars and Saturn that’s very useful is just understanding something that speeds things up versus something that slows things down.
RL: Anyone here ever drive a car? I mean, it’s the accelerator and the brake. That’s how the two of them work in tandem or often not in tandem where we hit the accelerator too much and go off the road or we hit the brake too hard and too late and we crash into something, but it is that hot, cold, gas brake or accelerator brake. Yeah.
CB: Yeah. There are already ideas of quickness versus slowness in traditional astrology with the traditional planets, but Uranus introduced this component of rapid jumps forward or rapid leaps forward, especially in technology. And even in like travel, if you think about how much travel has expanded through the use of technology, through machines through like steam engines, through eventually like steam trains, through aeroplanes.
RL: Absolutely. And even go back to when Uranus was in Aries in the 1850s, I think, maybe 1850s, 1860s, right in that period of time and you had this guy, Samuel Morse, who came to Congress with this idea that he had that he demonstrated that could send electrical impulses instantaneously over long distances if they were wired, and Congress was so amazed by this invention that they allocated at then, which was a small fortune something like $20,000, to create an electrical line connecting Baltimore and Washington, DC. And at that moment, once that was completed, a message was sent from Baltimore to Washington, DC that a month earlier would have taken a day and a half or a day by horseback to get the message there. Now all of a sudden was instantaneous. And it was mind blowing how quickly the entire United States was strung up with electrical wires that followed basically railroad tracks, that was the easiest way to do it, but then even transatlantic cables and the ability to communicate… You know that saying that this is as irrelevant as the cost of tea in China? Well, there’s this whole idea that when one was able to know what the value of the crop was in China, the tea crop, the clipper ships, the first one back to London, could make fortunes on the market by knowing whether it was to bet on good prices or bad prices. And all of a sudden, that was instantaneous. And so how quickly electricity through Morse code shrunk the planet to adopt to a point is mind boggling. And again, we moderners don’t necessarily think on that scale because we go online and send an email to someone in Shanghai or Buenos Aires and we don’t think anything of it. We get a reply, we have a Zoom meeting with people all over the world and yet it was very different pre-electricity.
CB: Yeah, communication used to be a lot slower for centuries and centuries and centuries and then all of a sudden, it was quick, it was lightning quick. Yeah. That’s very important. Why don’t we move on to one of our next excerpts which we’re going to jump forward a few decades to the German astrologer Reinhold Ebertin, in his book, The Combination of Stellar Influences, which was published in 1940. And this is very influential on a number of later modern astrologers like Rob Hand and Richard Tarnas and others, that’s one of the reasons why–
RL: Oh, an important book. I mean a book that most modern astrologers go back to for some very basic imagery of, although it may be more dire in some cases than some moderners would like, but yeah.
CB: Right, yeah. Here it is. He says, the principle of Uranus is suddenness, revolution and change. Psychological correspondence, plus side, he gives like positive ones. He says, peculiarity, independence, a love of freedom, independent action and ideas, enthusiasm for everything that is new or modern, agility or motility. I don’t know if that means mobility. Good powers of perception, intuition allied with objective judgment, easy excitability, a sense of rhythm. Negative psychological correspondence, an obstinate nature, lack of adaptability, rebellion, revolutionary tendencies, an excitable nature, impulsive actions, strong emotional tensions, passions for innovation, changeability of character. And then finally he gives biological correspondences, rhythm connections with the nervous system, with the meninges or membranes of the brain, with the pituitary gland and with the spinal marrow. That’s Reinhold Ebertin and here we start to get more of a crystallization of some of the core meanings of Uranus that became so common in modern astrology, especially the first ones that he mentions which is suddenness, revolution and change.
RL: Yeah. But also, he’s also now making a connection between… He doesn’t say it in these words, but he’s making a connection between the electrical nature of Uranus and the nervous system in the human body which is electrical in nature. And so, there’s a relationship between Mercury and Uranus. In fact, the concept of planetary octaves there are those who say that the outer planets are higher octaves of Mercury, Venus and Mars and that Uranus is the higher octave of Mercury. But you see Mercury is the thought and Uranus is the distribution of the thought. It’s the nervous system. So people who are ectomorphs, who are tall, thin, Ichabod Crane kind of, Mercurial maybe even in nature, there is a high-strung nervous system energy that is associated with the planet of Uranus and that’s the first we see of that.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really good point, that high strungness. Okay. One of the revolutions, this is already mentioned, but I think it’s worth going back to because astrologers often talk about and end up invoking the United States and the birth of the United States which were the Declaration of Independence was way back in 1776. I’m going to put up the Sibley chart. I don’t know if you have preference of the US chart. Okay. Here’s the US Sibley chart for the signing of the Declaration of Independence for July 4th, 1776, and it has Sagittarius rising and it has Uranus in Gemini with Mars also in Gemini in the roughly about in the seventh house, give or take. It has a Cancer stellium and everything else, but part of the thing here is not just the prominence of Uranus in the United States chart, but just the fact that the United States was founded so close to the discovery of Uranus in that century.
RL: And that the Moon in that chart is in Aquarius and this is probably a short discussion we’ll come to in a few minutes, and that is the whole issue of modern planetary rulerships and whether one uses them or not, the alleged association of Uranus with Aquarius and the Moon in Aquarius in the US Sibley chart obviously is a piece of it.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really good point. But that notion of revolution because that was such a big deal at the time for the US colonies to just like announce we’re free, yeah, and that we’re declaring our independence from the king and from the British or the UK in general.
RL: Yeah. And obviously, when we look at these issues retroactively, we just need to, in our modern sense, be aware of the cultural limitations of what the concept of freedom meant then. I mean, the fact is that it meant freedom for White landowners in effect, and yet it’s also interesting that the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, was an Aries writing a declaration of I’m free, this is who I am.
CB: Yeah. And I think there were tensions even amongst the authors of the Declaration of Independence about whether slavery should be mentioned, but at least there was that notion or there was that impulse of throwing off the shackles of something that’s holding you back and declaring your independence that is something that’s on a very large scale of like a country, but when a person has either, let’s say, Uranus prominent in their chart, that’s going to be an impulse that may be as prominent either in their life or in their personality of independence or rebelliousness or when a person has a major Uranus transit like Uranus going over their Ascendant or their Midheaven, there’s going to be also that impulse of seeking freedom and wanting to throw off whatever their perceived restrictions are at the time, which is very much a Saturn type thing where you have Saturn as the ringed planet and the last of the visible planets and then after that comes Uranus, and Uranus just blows the restrictions that we thought were there up until that point out of the water in terms of what the visible planets were and what the perceptible world is all of a sudden.
RL: And also, it changes what we can actually rebel against, meaning that prior to Uranus, there was no thought of the individual having that much freedom to actually take on that level of breaking free. And that brings up another issue of how we moderners have views of the planet that are sometimes one-dimensional compared to their older views because modern planets have taken away from the old planet. And the example with Uranus is prime here because prior to the discovery of Uranus, Saturn had a revolutionary aspect too. I mean, it was the authority and the rules, but scientists were Saturnians because they knew enough about the rules that they knew where they could be bent or broken or changed. And so, we moderners put Saturn now in this you’re stuck and you can never break out of anything, whereas the fact of the matter was Saturn did find before Uranus was discovered and had a Uranian aspect to it. Also, the same case could be made with Mars losing its emotionality as Pluto was given to watery, Scorpio therefore many moderners think of Mars as the warrior rather than Mars as the lover, so to speak. And the same with Jupiter and Neptune. I mean even though these affinities work, we moderners tend to reduce Jupiter to the logic and the rational and the beliefs rather than the emotional and the imagination that it was that it did double duty until the modern planets were discovered.
CB: Yeah, that’s really a good point and it brings up a few discussion points.
RL: Okay. One last thing I want to say before the discussion ends is that I’ve always found it curious that in talking about rulerships, that Rob Hand wrote, and I want to say it’s in Essays–
CB: This is a big digression by the way.
RL: No. Well, he brought up the point that of all the modern “rulerships” or associations is the word I like to use, that the association of Uranus to Aquarius was the least tenable. And I never got that because I get Saturn’s association with Aquarius, but I also see the association with Uranus with Aquarius that whole duality, the dilemma, being part of and not part of the futuristic and then something beyond the individual, the social structure, and so on. But it’s interesting how we moderners think we know what we’ve learned and without going back to the Hellenistic understanding, we lose quite a bit of what the planets actually meant.
CB: Yeah, it’s really tricky just because the modern, once the outer planet started being discovered, astrologers did start assigning them too because there was the premise up to that point that there are seven planets and each of the seven planets is associated with one or two zodiacal signs and in order for a planet to exist, it has to exist. But if we have this premise that the planets call certain signs their home or their domiciles or dwelling places, then if there’s new planets discovered, then does that mean by implication that the new planets would also call certain signs their home or domiciles or dwelling places as well? And eventually, some astrologers did start assigning them to signs first with Uranus to Aquarius and then eventually Neptune to Pisces and then Pluto as we’re talking about earlier today before this, there’s a little bit of a debate about whether it should be assigned to Scorpio or to Aries. And some astrologers went one way or another and eventually largely ended up being Scorpio. One of the issues though looking back that’s hard to have this discussion sometimes is that once those assignments started being made, the understanding of the outer planets started influencing how astrologers interpreted the sign of the zodiac. So now Saturn, which traditionally before prior to the 17th and 18th century was a Saturn-ruled sign, once astrologers started associating Uranus with Aquarius, that started changing and they started adapting their view of Aquarius to be more Uranian.
RL: More progressive.
CB: Yeah, more in line with that. That creates a tricky thing sometimes in having this discussion that’s been talked about more and that’s become more part of the discussion after the revival of older forms of astrology starting in the 1980s and ‘90s is going back and looking at texts from prior to the past few centuries, prior to the discovery of Uranus and seeing how they discuss Aquarius or seeing how they conceptualize Pisces and how in some ways that’s the same or in other ways that’s radically different than how 20th and early 21st century astrologers talk about those signs.
RL: Agreed. Yeah, I totally agree with that. And it’s the signs and the planets that have had to adjust their position in order to stay a part of the family on some level. And I personally honor and respect both views. I think that there is something to learn from both of them. I think it’s dangerous to be in either camp without acknowledging that there’s something to learn from the other camp, and however you turn that into your practice, that’s your business.
CB: Sure. Yeah. I started out with the modern rulerships. And when I went to Kepler, I was four years into my studies. And I was a purely modern astrologer, and I went to Kepler to study modern astrology. And then in the second year, I always tell a story about how they forced me to start studying ancient astrology, and I tried to protest. So that’s actually partially your fault cause you were one of the co-founders of Kepler. You actually came up with the name of Kepler College, didn’t you?
RL: Yeah, I did.
CB: Okay, so you’re the reason I ended up eventually studying traditional astrology. So it’s kind of your fault. Everything that’s happened since then.
RL: I refuse to take responsibility for your life.
CB: Okay. That’s a very Uranian statement. It kind of makes sense.
RL: Yeah, it’s true.
CB: Yeah. So what was I saying? I was very militant modern astrologer though in terms of the modern rulerships are the only way, and it doesn’t make any sense to have a system that doesn’t incorporate the outer planets. And so it was only eventually by them literally forcing me to study ancient astrology and seeing how it was set up through these symmetries of the visible planets to create a symmetrical system that I started to see and understand the value of the older traditional rulerships and eventually started using that scheme. There is an issue at this point where at least with Uranus and Neptune, they do actually because those assignments were made by astrologers in the 17th and 18th centuries who are still continuing on part of essentially traditional astrology at that point, they did make the next logical assignments which is that if you take the basis of the traditional rulership scheme which is the Hellenistic idea of the Thema Mundi and the notion that you start with the two luminaries in Leo and Cancer.
RL: And then you go outward with Mercury from each, yeah, sure.
CB: Yeah, so the Sun in Leo because that’s the middle and the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. And then Mercury gets assigned the next sign in zodiacal order cause Mercury never gets more than one sign away from the Sun before it turns retrograde. So it gets assigned to Virgo, and then Venus gets assigned to Libra cause it never gets more than two signs from the Sun. Then Mars is the next furthest planet out to Scorpio, then Jupiter to Sag, then Saturn to Capricorn. The next space after that would naturally be Aquarius, so that’s why I think initially starting whenever it was in the 18th or 19th or early 20th century, some astrologers made that conclusion that if we were gonna do this, then that actually would follow the logic of the traditional scheme to next assign the next furthest planet out which is Uranus to Aquarius. And then the next for this planet is to the next empty sign which would be Pisces and Neptune. The one that really breaks that scheme and I think that’s why there was a debate about it is Pluto cause if you were to continue following that scheme, then Pluto should be assigned to Aries.
CB: But part of the problem then is that you run into an issue with that going back to the beginning of the zodiac and Mars domicile versus Scorpio. And I think that’s when the mythology starts getting involved and where they started paying attention to the idea that Pluto is the ruler of the underworld. And then they started associating the eighth house with Scorpio cause Scorpio is the eighth sign and therefore notions of death. And you start getting into stuff with that.
RL: Yeah. No, for a little diversion, I think we probably did this far enough for now. But all of this is important. It’s not just a discussion about Uranus, but it’s a discussion about Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Look, when they first came into being, when you read Sepharial, when you read other astrologers from the turn into the 18th and to the 19th and 20th century, the outer planets were considered to be not as important. It was like, “Oh. These planets move so slowly, and they stay in the same place for so long that they’re really only important if they are conjuncting your Sun or Moon or on an angle.”
CB: Right. And that leads to the idea of them being generational planets or generational influences.
RL: Which they are. But no modern astrologer could make a case where let’s say… Let me put it the other way. No one could make a case to most modern astrologers that Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in whatever aspects they might be to the interpersonal and social planets, the luminaries Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, they obviously carry their own weight. But, again, this goes back to the whole idea that what you saw and what you got that Saturn was the limit and anything out past that was not as important because it was either invisible or metaphysical. And we’ve now moved into a world that I think the discovery of Uranus began where the metaphysical world is creating dominance over the physical world. And that is a very interesting transition, but I think it has part to do with our postmodern dilemma.
CB: Mhm. Right. Yeah. And what I was saying with the Uranus thing, I was playing devil’s advocate as a traditional astrologer and as somebody that does primarily use Saturn as the primary ruler of Aquarius and Jupiter for Pisces, that it was actually the traditional astrologers need to contend with and recognize that the new modern assignments at least with Uranus-Neptune were continuing the logic of the traditional system.
RL: Yeah, I agree. And I don’t refer to the modern planets much anymore as rulers of those planets, I refer to them as associated with. In other words, I don’t necessarily consider Uranus the ruler of Aquarius. But, boy, it’s hard to separate out the imagery and the archetypal energy of Aquarius and/or the 11th house and/or Uranus from one another as a nuance to what Saturn might have been in the past.
CB: Yeah. Well, we just have to distinguish things like there’s different categories like where is a planet strongest? Or let’s say there’s a separate argument which is that just because a celestial body has certain affinity or similarities in its significations with the sign of the zodiac does not necessarily mean it has to rule that side.
RL: Exactly. I agree with that completely.
CB: So to take that to an extreme, let’s say just because the planet [birra] or the asteroid [birra] has some similarity or associations let’s say similar significations as the sign Pisces, that doesn’t mean that the asteroid [birra] rules the sign of Pisces necessarily. It just means that there are some, let’s say, archetypal similarities in some instances between those two things. Anyway, so its a whole digression.
RL: So you shared the quote from Combination of Stellar Influences from 1940. I have another quote from 1940. And this is from Grant Lewi who is an American rather than a German astrologer but the same time period. And this is from his book Astrology for the Millions.
CB: And who was he really? Cause he was a famous astrologer in the mid 20th century. He wasn’t one of the ones that was working in Hollywood, was he?
RL: No, no, no. He actually was an English professor at Dartmouth College, a professor of literature. And then he became an editor of Horoscope Magazine, and he wrote Astrology for the Millions, and Heaven Knows What was tremendously popular. It had to do with popularizing not just Sun sign astrology but deeper astrology, but he wrote what might be called the first wave of popularization of what we call horoscopic astrology.
CB: Okay, I’m trying to think of who Reagan’s earlier astrologer–
RL: Oh, that was Carroll Righter, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few times when I lived in LA in the early ’80s. That was Carroll Righter, and he was definitely the Hollywood astrologer at the time.
CB: Got it.
RL: So Grant Lewi wrote, “Uranus in a general way relates to the neuro-mentality. The creative originality or individuality and his position by sign in the horoscope tells the direction along which you will seek to express your most characteristic self in a creative and original effort.” And that’s basically his line. He goes on to say just a little bit of this, “In the same sign with Mercury or the Moon, there’s acute awareness, quick reactions to sense impressions and a hair-trigger mind. In the same sign with the Sun there’s nervous activity, high-strung nature, original, creative, or eccentric. In the same sign with Mars, there’s high speed activity, love of speed, and perhaps danger. In the same sign with Venus, unusual reaction to emotional experience, highly idealistic through sensual and original ideas of love.” And he goes on from there. But, again, the thing about Grant Lewi is that he was a 20th century astrologer but he was pre-humanistic astrology, pre-psychological astrology. And from that standpoint, I think he wrote at a very interesting turning point because he’s recognizably modern and yet not recognizably astrologically psychological.
CB: Yeah, cause Dane Rudhyar was the first that really started integrating Carl Jung in his first book in 1936 The Astrology of Personality. But that didn’t really take off and become popular until the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s.
RL: Yes, yeah.
CB: That’s such a weird and interesting thing. It’s something it took me a long time to realize I came in and started studying astrology around 1999 or 2000. And so I’m studying basically your generation of the Pluto and Leo generation, who came in the 1960s and ’70s and ’80s. And that to me was modern astrology, and it was largely psychological astrology and it was very Jungian. But that type of astrology really didn’t really get firmly ingrained in the tradition until that generation of the 1960s and ’70s and ’80s. And I didn’t realize how recent that was. Whereas if you go back just a few decades earlier to, for example, this author in 1940–
RL: Which is why I like reading him cause it really shows how modern, how recent that is. I was a psychology student in the late ’60s early ’70s in college, and I was totally into and devouring Jung. And someone gave me a copy of The Astrology of Personality. It was 1970. And up until then, I had been already studying astrology. But I had no idea it had any real relevance to anything else. I just thought it was fascinating. I was hooked.
CB: What year did you start studying astrology?
RL: Probably ’68 ’69.
CB: Okay, so that’s like when everyone started studying astrology.
RL: I was 18, 19.
CB: Okay. Cause Linda Goodman’s book came out in ’68, I think. And that sold millions of copies. I think it has to be one of the highest-selling astrology books ever.
RL: Yeah, she was the first author ever to break a million dollar contract. I mean, when Jeff Jawer and I wrote the eight years of Your Astrology Guides for Barnes & Noble, the vice president of the company Barnes & Noble’s publishing company was involved in the Linda Goodman phenomenon and that everything in his life was trying to find an astrologer who would become the next Linda Goodman. Because it’s like trying to find the next Beatles. No one will ever reproduce whatever it is that she did at that moment in time.
CB: Yeah. And that was ’68 is around the time of that Uranus-Pluto conjunction, right?
RL: Yeah. And of course we’re talking about Uranus, so the Uranus-Pluto conjunction was actually perfected in the summers of ’65 and ’66. But it was the signature of the 1960s. And Saturn was in opposition to Pluto and Uranus during that period of time. So it was a powerful, powerful time. And certainly the Linda Goodman phenomenon was… Most people I know of my age got into astrology because they read Linda Goodman and said, “This is amazing.” And then discovered, “Oh my god. There’s more to it than Sun signs.”
CB: Yeah, and that was when it started happening. That is the direct parallel to right now. We haven’t seen a resurgence in astrology amongst the youth until the past few years. This is probably the closest we’ve seen the past few years and the sudden influx of just tons of astrologers in their teens and twenties.
RL: Because of the internet and the availability of calculated charts. And the massive amount of literature. When I was coming up, there were like 20 books. That was it. If you read them, you read them. And now there’s thousands.
CB: Well, and there’s an interchange in terms of a chicken or an egg scenario there of which came first. Was it the audience came first and then that’s what led to the proliferation of the new tools and things? Or was it the new tools and things that led to the proliferation of the audience? But I was just saying that people who were born in your generation in the 1940s with Pluto and Leo, came of age and became in their 20s in late 1960s. And it’s around that time that’s when astrology really takes off with that huge wave of just interest from the younger generation.
RL: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
CB: All right. One of the things you mentioned really quickly before we go on is taking significations.
RL: No, go ahead. I’m listening.
CB: Okay. One thing you were saying was taking significations from traditional planets, and I think that’s really important cause that’s often a complaint that some traditional astrologers have these days is… I think it’s because the outer planets are so distinctive in what they do and they’re so powerful in what they do and they’re so obviously powerful to me. So, for example, I do Hellenistic astrology as my basis, but I never stopped using the outer planets, and I’ve always tried to talk some of my traditional contemporaries like Ben Dykes, for example, who came up studying with Robert Zoller. And Zoller, when he went into traditional, was very anti-outer planet and was very, “These don’t belong here. These are useless. It’s only gonna ruin your astrology. Only use the seven traditional planets.” And his thing was saying the old ways are the good ways. Well, I wrote a large book on Hellenistic astrology and have an affinity for the topic. And that’s the foundation of my system, and I also use traditional rulerships and whole sign houses and Ptolemaic or what I would call the major aspects. But you would call them… You don’t like the minor versus major aspects.
RL: I call the minor aspects non-Ptolemaic.
CB: Okay, cause the minor aspects are just as important to you as the “major aspects”.
RL: Well, my question becomes, and this is another session. But my question is, how many signs in the zodiac are there up there? And people say 12. And my answer is no, there’s not 12 signs up there, there’s 12 signs in here that we templated the 12-sign zodiac because 12 is such a powerful, magical, useful number in dividing by half and quarter, third. And there’s no doubt here that 12 is the right number to use when talking about cycles. But that is a limiting factor in how we look at what’s up there. I guess there are divisions by non-zodiacal numbers by five by seven by nine by whatever, eleven, thirteen, whatever.
CB: Okay, I thought you were gonna become an Ophiuchus truther or something. I don’t know in what direction.
RL: Oh no. No, count me out of that. My answer to Ophiuchus is you can’t have a 13th sign because astrology is based on a 12th-sign zodiac. So it’s like, how can you add a 13th sign to a system based on 12? Don’t go there. And I’m not saying that there’s not use to real constellational and/or sidereal astrology, that’s not what I’m saying.
CB: Yeah. Well, and if people wanna do constellational astrology, they can do constellational astrology. But as tropical zodiac astrologers, the existence of the constellation of Ophiuchus is not relevant in terms of–
RL: Not relevant.
CB: Yeah. All right. So going back before that digression, there are so many good digressions that we could go on. But to try to restrain ourselves, see, we’ve moved up past Saturn. So now we’re just unrestrained and–
RL: Yeah, dad’s not home, we can go anywhere.
CB: The sky is the limit. And literally Uranus means the sky.
RL: And that’s Uranus, the sky. It’s the sky god.
CB: Okay, trying to focus. So even though I use the traditional rulership scheme, I’ve always tried to encourage some of my traditional contemporaries to still pay attention to the other planets. Because I think they are very relevant and they do things very starkly and very effectively and very usefully in contemporary practice. They actually bring something new and useful and meaningful to the traditional system. So one of the complaints that the traditional astrologers have is that sometimes significations have been taken from the old traditional planets and given to the new planets. And there’s a certain extent to which that’s true. For example, you mentioned freedom or freedom keeps being brought up as a Uranus thing. And previously one of the things we saw in the episode with Sam the last time I was doing an interview in the studio last month when we talked about Jupiter, because Jupiter was often contrasted with Saturn, and Saturn was restrictions and jail and chains and being held back by something, and Jupiter was the opposite of that. It was being freed from restrictions or being freed from bonds or chains or what have you.
RL: But Jupiter always had to work through logic and kind of gradually working the system from within. The magic of Jupiter is that it is expansive but only up to its negotiation with Saturn that is the outward bound. And Uranus basically says, “Fuck that.” Uranus says, “I’m out of here. There is no negotiation. Saturn has been made invisible.”
CB: Yeah, so Uranus kind of upends the entire system and overthrows the entire system.
RL: Overthrows the whole system.
CB: And that was part of the mythology of Saturn and Uranus although it’s a little reversed cause it was Saturn that was rebelling from Uranus. But at least that was part of the archetype at least, the notion of rebelling against one’s father and upending the entire old system.
RL: But, again, that brings us back to the we have to be careful about just accepting the mythology rather than the actual apparency of what happens.
CB: Yeah. Well, I’m very anti-mythology. That’s one of the one points that I will give at least that are coming into play.
RL: Well, I think mythology has a use in a certain area. It’s incredibly applicable because the stories are so overwhelmingly powerful in their portrayal. But to then take them and to layer them onto another system that has obviously either outgrown them or in some ways grown parallel I think can be dangerous or limiting maybe, is a better way of saying it.
CB: Yeah. Definitely. And actually–
RL: What else you got? I got a couple of other discussion points here from–
CB: Part of the point maybe is just that there are different ways. So while some of those significations have been taken, it’s because there can be multiple things in the solar system or multiple planets that either signify similar things or have overlapping significations. And that was true in traditional astrology. And so that’s okay still in modern astrology if there are overlapping significations. And sometimes it may be the same thing or sometimes it may be variations of the same thing.
RL: Yeah. I actually think that a good metaphor for understanding that is that you can have a microscope, and you can look under that microscope at 100 power and see these paramecium floating around with their little flagellates, whatever they’re called, the wiggly things. And then you can change that power to 500 power. And all of a sudden, you see an entirely different scenario of what’s going on inside the paramecium. And then you can change to 5,000 or 10,000 depending on your microscope or use an electron-scanning microscope. And then I think that what we’re doing is that one system doesn’t negate the other just like the non-Ptolemaic aspects don’t negate the Ptolemaic. It’s just changing power on the microscope. They’re not mutually exclusive.
CB: Yeah. Or another analogy I was thinking of is that traditionally in the second century Vettius Valens associated Mercury with messengers and with messages like when you send a message in the mail. Somebody in second century Alexandria, Egypt would write down a letter on a piece of papyrus and mail it to whoever–
RL: To whoever carried that to somewhere else.
CB: Yeah, so that’s the basic idea of mail. And Mercury was associated with that, with communication, with messages. But then in modern times we have email, a literally electronic mail which is like a Mercury-Uranus type thing.
RL: Uranus, agreed.
CB: So it’s like, yeah, there’s overlapping or echoes of similar archetypes. But sometimes there’s a slight change or there’s a slight twist that makes it a little bit new or a little bit different.
RL: Yeah, I agree. And one of the things to always keep in mind is that astrology is always a function of time and space, but we know that. But that also then changes as cultural mores, traditions, religions, perceptions of the outer world as our view of the outer world if the outer and the inner, if as above, so below, if the two are one and the same. Well, as our understanding of the outer world changes, our understanding of the inner world needs to change accordingly. And that’s why astrology evolves as consciousness evolves.
CB: Right. Yeah. So I think that’s really important. All right, so we can move on from that in terms of we’ve addressed taking significations, we’ve addressed rulerships. All right, so here’s an excerpt from Steven Forrest’s book The Inner Sky which was published in 1988. And I feel like at this point we get more into the sort of standard late 20th century astrology at this point or “modern astrology” or what it used to be. I guess it’s still called modern astrology although that term’s starting to become a little tricky.
CB: Yeah. Right. All right.
RL: No, but Steven Forrest would be someone who would be considered a psychological astrologer and obviously now an evolutionary astrologer but certainly more au courant.
CB: Yeah, definitely. All right. So he breaks it into different categories. So he says, “The function of Uranus is the development of individuality, the development of the capacity to question authority, the transcendence of cultural and social programming. Its dysfunction is contrariness, stubbornness, inflexibility, touchiness, quirkishness, unreliability, irresponsibility, selfishness, insensitivity to others’ feelings, inability to learn from others, and eccentricity for its own sake.” I love that one. I wanna come back to that.
RL: And I would say just as a very quick interjection that this is an example of someone who has a bias against Uranus cause look how long the list of dysfunction is compared to the shorter list of function.
CB: Okay. Yeah, maybe he’s got an axe to grind with Uranus.
RL: Maybe. We’ll have to ask him.
CB: Yeah, we’ll get him on the phone. All right. So he says, “Key questions. In what department of life must I be willing to function without social approval? Where must I learn to break the rules and follow my own path? Where will I consistently receive the most misleading advice? Which authorities am I destined to challenge and offend?” So that’s Steven Forrest. At this point we can see things are much more psychological. Psychological and character-based astrology is much more the core focus at this point. Steven has also the point at which with evolution especially in his later works there’s much more of also a spiritual or evolutionary component although that is not as obvious here. But it’s still relevant in terms of the sort of backdrop of where he’s coming from.
RL: Yeah, I agree. And I think what he said here are things that I think most modern astrologers would just simply go, “Yeah, that’s Uranus.” They’re all recognizable although there are some things that I think we need to talk about beyond that. But if there’s anything here that we wanna go over specifically, he has the thing nailed as far as Uranus is not concerned with the result of what it knows needs to be done. In fact, sometimes when Uranus operates in our lives, I think of Uranus as, although we’ll get to more of the lightning-like thing in a moment. I think of Uranus as Uranus strikes to rectify a situation like burning Yellowstone to the ground 20 years ago or so. A forest fire, it decimated Yellowstone Park.
CB: National park.
RL: National park. And ecologists and naturalists were saying this is the worst disaster. Excuse me. This is the worst disaster ever, that it will never recover. Blah blah blah blah. The thing though is that Uranus’s job is to strike to relieve the tension or to create equilibrium in the moment. It’s not Uranus’s job to give a shit about what happens afterwards. And this whole thing with good or bad with Uranus, it’s absolutely irrelevant because Uranus is beyond Nietzsche, beyond good and evil. It has no concern at all as to whether what it does has a positive or negative result or outcome. Its only job is to rectify the situation in the moment. And, parenthetically, naturalists now say that the fires in Yellowstone 20 30 years ago created the most dramatic revival that anyone could have ever imagined. The flora and fauna there are better than they ever were prior to the fire, and there’s something about Uranus clearing out the underbrush so that the new can occur.
CB: Yeah, and Uranus’s impulse is to shake things up and to just tear it all down. And that’s its primary thing that it does, its primary function. Well, there can be especially in the inventive sense a long futuristic side to Uranus, the side of it that is about shaking things up sometimes is just about creating chaos sometimes just for chaos’s sake and, yeah, not being worried about what comes tomorrow.
RL: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Uranus somehow seeks out the weak link of the chain. It seeks out that which hasn’t been expressed, that which we do not express gets buried. We now know that our unconsciousness does not exist in our brain. It exists in every cell of our body. And Uranus will find that unexpressed, unconscious energy, whether it’s in the stomach or in the heart or in the big toe, Uranus will find it and blow it up and nuke it and get it out into the open to relieve that pent-up stress from the tension of holding something in. And that’s Saturn. And interestingly enough, the relationship between Uranus and Saturn which we talked about a little bit earlier with the kind of Uranus blasting through the wall, Saturn is the wall. Saturn and Uranus just go right through it like it doesn’t even exist. And Rob Hand wrote in Planets in Transit in one of his descriptions about… I don’t remember whether it was transiting Uranus to Saturn or transiting Saturn to Uranus. But the image holds either way, and the image is an irrepressible force meeting an immovable object. That’s how Saturn and Uranus work together. Something’s got to give.
CB: Yeah, and change. Sometimes when I think of Uranus and Saturn, I think of the 2008 US presidential election when I think the Saturn-Uranus opposition was very close. And so, archetypically, it was sort of set up as the old versus the new and especially about ideas of change. And Uranus kind of won out. And it was interesting that the guy that won of course in the 2008 election in November of 2008 when that Saturn-Uranus opposition was so close was the guy that had the slogan which was literally on his poster which just said “change”. That was Obama’s slogan in the 2008 election. I think that he sort of captured the more Uranian side of the times or whatever the thing in the era was at the time.
RL: Yeah, the zeitgeist. And we’re seeing that now being 2021-ish with the Saturn-Uranus square that same kind of energy of the old versus the new, the regressive versus the progressive, the control versus the blow it all up and see what happens when we take a new approach. It’s that same energy, but we’re getting it differently from the square.
CB: Yeah, definitely. Or the Saturn-Uranus conjunction in Capricorn of the late 1980s was often associated with the fall of the Soviet Union.
RL: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
CB: All right. So one thing I wanna talk about that Steven mentions here is he uses a negative, but the term like eccentric is such a great Uranus term. Because Uranus is nothing if not especially Uranus natives when it gets tied in with their personalities in some way or character parts of the chart, if a person has a very prominent Uranus thing, it’s eccentric is one of the great key words for Uranus.
RL: It is. And when we think of that word, we can think of it as a geometric concept. And something that’s eccentric is in an orbit that is tilted away from that, “There we go.” And of course the fact that planets move and are the way that their archetypes are, we should mention that Uranus is eccentric in many ways just physically. Its high reflection is one of its eccentricities. The fact that its North Pole is almost pointing toward the Sun that is like a bowling ball.
CB: Which none of the other planets do that. All the other planets sort of orbit around the Sun, and then they have their own rotation.
RL: Spin in the same plane roughly.
CB: Right, roughly. But Uranus is this weird planet where its pole is pointed at the Sun and it’s rotating roughly on maybe its side.
RL: It’s like a rolling ball. It’s like rolling a lawn. It’s like it’s on its side. Yeah. And its moons are actually retrograde motion. Everything about Uranus is weird. And Uranus is the weird planet, and it’s just everything about it it’s weird. And one of the things–And this is a whole topic, and also I think we can come back to this in a bit. But a little bit of foreshadowing. To me, Uranus is the quantum planet. Because Uranus is unpredictable. And quantum physics says, “There’s no Newtonian cause and effect.” In fact, all we can do is play with probabilities and make educated guesses with quantum physics. But the piece about Uranus is that as it’s really weird, the founder, if you will, of quantum physics Niels Bohr once quipped the universe, and he was referring here to quantum physics, is not stranger than you think. It’s stranger than you can think. And that’s Uranus because Uranus pushes all those Saturnian boundaries that we thought we knew, and it turns them all on its side. And, in particular, Uranus is probably the most singularly offensive planet to the concept of fate or fate and free will. Because Uranus begs that question of its unpredictability. It doesn’t have that fated sense of karma, you get what you deserve. Yeah, I sometimes call Uranus as the Uranian zap factor. Sometimes stuff happens for no apparent reason. Now we may assign apparent reasons to it, but there’s that whole concept of Uranus happening out of the blue.
CB: Yeah, the random thing.
RL: It’s not even a storm, and the lightning strikes. Everything is perfect, and we go to record a session on Uranus. And boom, there’s no power. That’s the Uranian zap factor at work, and there’s a quantum non-causal aspect of Uranus as to how it just crashes into being even when there’s no apparent storm when you don’t expect lightning to strike.
CB: Yeah, or getting struck by lightning is such a random unlikely thing compared to all the lightning strikes. And if you happen to be the unlucky person that’s standing there at that time, it’s a very unusual thing or random sort of thing in some ways.
But let’s go back cause Saturn is like, let’s just, say society-like Saturn is the status quo. And Uranus is that which is outside against or that which rebels against the status quo. And we can see that sort of very literally symbolically by Uranus being the planet that literally orbits in this weird direction that none of the other planets do. And that’s a whole topic in it itself I’m hoping to do an episode on at some point which is another access point which is that the physical properties of the planets can inform sometimes their astrological meaning.
RL: So here’s something on that that’s really intriguing. I mentioned earlier, and we talked about how the material universe matter is represented by the cardinal cross. The 90-degree angle has something to do with things coming into matter. And the cardinal cross or the cross of Christianity, the cross that’s in between the pillars here in the symbol of Uranus that represents in some ways the structure of the world. Well, if you take that cross and you tilt it 45 degrees, what looks like a T becomes an X. And all of a sudden, the structure of Saturn which the glyph looks like a reversed ST, it is actually. When you take the symbol of Saturn which looks like the backward S hanging down off of the T. And when you mirror image it, it becomes an ST. And I contend that the Greco-Roman languages have the ST as a leftover from the integrated symbol of Saturn and that in fact when you look at the ST words, it’s status, structure, stamina, austerity, test, stability, structure, stasis, the ST words are crazy Saturnian. Just crazy. But when you tilt the ST, when you tilt the T, you get an X. And all of a sudden, you’re in the realm of X formation, like transformation. There’s something about Uranus that takes that structure and makes it disappear. The fall of the Berlin Wall, it just disappears. And in a way it’s like an instantaneous depowering of the stability and the structure that Saturn has held and that we have held as the ultimate authority or sacrosanct. That was it, and then Uranus somehow just transforms it. There is a transformational quality in all of the outer planets. But Uranus being kind of the poster child of the first discovered, I think it’s important.
CB: Yeah, of radical change.
RL: And even the symbol of Uranus taking Saturn with its rings and turning it on its side, there’s that transformational thing.
CB: Right. That’s a good point.
RL: Ecstatic. It’s the X sta stasis Saturn. X it’s the Uranian beyond the stasis.
CB: Okay, so going back to the ideas of eccentricity and the character analysis of that when a person has Uranus prominent in a personality part of their chart like near the Ascendant to the first house or configured close to the lead to that, sometimes there can be something about their personality or how they present themselves or their personal appearance.
RL: Bob Dylan with the Sun conjunct Uranus.
CB: Yeah, that can be eccentric. And it’s interesting sometimes it can just make them stand out from the crowd or stand out socially or societally or something like that. It’s funny that Steven mentions here eccentricity for its own sake cause that can be kind of like another side of Uranus which can just be the person who’s constantly looking to go against the grain or looking to go against the social conventions or social norms almost for its own sake in some sense.
RL: Yeah. With Uranus in my first house being my rising planet if not on the Ascendant, I’ve looked back at my younger years. And I used to do stuff that was just disruptive just for the fun of it just to shock people.
CB: Did you have a mohawk or something?
RL: No, I’m not even talking about physically. I’m just saying things or kind of presenting not so much even the devil’s advocate position but just saying things that upset the status quo that, yeah, I think Uranus does that. It’s the shock and awe. It’s the upset. It’s the radical. You look at a chart like Angela Davis who has a Mars-Uranus–I think it’s a Mars-Uranus conjunction, if I’m not mistaken. And it’s a rebel with or without a cause, but it’s the willingness to act in a way that is disruptive.
CB: Right. Yeah, that’s disruptive and disrupts the status quo whatever the status quo is.
CB: But it’s interesting that it has that relative component to it because it’s always relative to whatever the status quo is. It’s relative to what the establishment is at that time. And it’s funny then because that’s relative to that culture and relative to that period of time so that sometimes it’s funny because then we look back a few decades and things become–
RL: Think no big deal.
CB: Yeah, and it’s no big deal. Because those things become integrated, and they become eventually societal norms in some instances. And when something becomes normalized in society, it almost ceases to have that Uranian component to it in some sense. So it’s important to understand that it’s always relative to that point in time and relative to that culture.
RL: Yeah, we think of someone like Oscar Wilde who had Uranus square his Moon and the things that he said and him ending up dying, broken and having spent time in jail for being a homosexual. I wouldn’t say that was the least of his problems. The other part of it was that he offended pretty much everyone with his clever, sharp wit. But it was almost like he didn’t care about the results of what his brilliance was. It had to come out. And, yeah, I think that–And yet the things that he said and/or did now would just be cool.
CB: Right. Yeah. Or, yeah, there’s lots of things like that. Things that are shocking like let’s say performers or artists.
RL: Lenny Bruce comes to mind. I don’t know what his chart is, but i wouldn’t be surprised if whether there was a strong Uranus in it or not. He was a Uranian in as much as he was jailed so many times for obscenities that now almost any comedian on stage will say the things that Lenny Bruce said. But it was shocking then cause it was Uranian.
CB: Right. He was a stand-up comic?
RL: He was a stand-up comic in the ’50s who would get up on stage and just take certain words and repeat them. And it was horrifying to people, hearing people on stage saying those things that no one ever said in public. Now language has loosened up so much that it’s just no big deal.
CB: And sometimes that can be like a far-seeing component where that phrase they were ahead of their time–
RL: Oh yeah.
CB: –that’s a very Uranian phrase.
RL: It’s very Uranian, and there we have the affinity between Jupiter and Uranus.
RL: And there is an affinity between them, and often we see the Jupiter-Uranus connection in Albert Einstein’s chart for example. I think he had a Jupiter-Uranus opposition. But there’s–
CB: Or another one is Steve Jobs had a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.
RL: Conjuction, that’s right. That was the 1950. That was the Jupiter-Uranus I think in Cancer. I think 1955-ish somewhere in there.
CB: Right. Yeah, seeing where things are going and having a–Cause Jupiter has far vision, but then Uranus is even further out and especially technologically speaking sometimes.
RL: Yeah. And, see, it’s interesting because I often think of–And I think we talked about this in the September forecast. I always think of Jupiter and Neptune as being a bit of the same planet with Saturn as an intermediary that they’re both expansive. But Neptune becomes dispersive because Jupiter has to answer to Saturn and Neptune doesn’t answer to any restrictions. It can go infinitely distant and out. There’s no limitations to Neptune.
RL: But the Jupiter-Uranus is significant because it’s Uranus that gives Jupiter the ability to get beyond Saturn. There’s no restriction. And so I think often with Jupiter in Uranus, they’re both kind of young energies. Again, it’s not that Uranus is expansive. But it’s going somewhere. It’s breaking free of something to go somewhere new. There’s a directionality to it, I think, that gives it affinity to Jupiter. Then, yeah, there’s Einstein’s chart with the Jupiter-Uranus opposition.
CB: Yeah, there we go. So Jupiter at 27 Aquarius and Uranus at one degree of Virgo.
RL: And incidentally when you look at his chart with quintiles, he has one of the most magical charts I’ve ever seen with multiple quintile patterns, configurations of multiple planets, and that Jupiter-Uranus actually forms a major focal point in that. But, yeah, his chart is very Uranian. That’s what he did. And we come back to this idea–
CB: Before you move on, we have to do a minor aspect episode. We were talking about that earlier that we’ve got to do–That’s the elephant in the room that we’re gonna keep coming back to every time I have a discussion with you. Minor aspect episode. If people want us to do a minor aspect episode, they should leave a comment letting us know on the YouTube.
RL: Not a minor aspect mode.
CB: Okay, sorry.
RL: Yeah, non-Ptolemaic aspects. Because when you look at charts like Einstein or so many other charts, you realize that when you’re not looking at quintiles and subtitles it’s like doing a chart without Neptune or Pluto in it. You’re missing a whole dimension that if you don’t know it’s there, you’re not gonna miss it. But once you see that what you’re missing is like, “Holy crap. I can’t believe I ever did astrology without these. They’re not minor.”
CB: Or maybe that would be an interesting analogy I’d like to explore as maybe Ptolemaic or major aspects are like the Newtonian realm.
RL: And actually I’ve come to call them physical and metaphysical aspects.
RL: Because there’s something up–And, again, we’re going into a territory we don’t need to go into now. But the thing about Uranus is that it delves into that whole thing of breaking out of whatever the status quo is, the Newtonian structure whether it’s going to quantum physics or Einstein. Look, the thing about Einstein was that Einstein clearly showed that time and space were inter-related. And we as astrologers, what do we do? We map time in space. And so as we begin to realize that time and space are somehow interconnected, Uranus becomes the planet out beyond just looking at things spatially or looking at things–What’s the word I’m looking for?Causally. Cause Saturn has an Aristotelian causality to it. And when you get out to the outer planets, we lose that sense of timing because something happens in the unconscious that is outside of the realms of cause and effect. It’s the breakthrough that happened in the late 19th century during the period of the once every 400-year conjunction of Neptune and Pluto when you had Freud writing the interpretation of dreams that kind of set the pace for the whole depth psychology movement that now is part of our normal vocabulary and just way of seeing ourselves in our own being. So, yeah, it’s all fascinating. But Uranus again becomes the planet that breaks out of the three-dimensional world of what you see is what you get. In fact in computer realms there’s this term they call WYSIWYG which is what you see is what you get on the screen as opposed to when we get into these quantum realms of trans-saturnian planets. It turns out that it’s WYSIWYG what you see is not what you get and that there’s a whole–In quantum physics David Bohm talked about the implicate and the explicate orders and that astrology up to now has largely been about the explicate order that which we see granted Alice Bailey. And that whole movement began looking at things that were esoteric rather than the exoteric. But what we begin to see is that there’s a whole world under the surface of the ocean that we see the foaming and yet there’s an entire sea beneath it. And the outer planets beginning with Uranus show us what some of that stuff is, but they can be by themselves non-physical unless they connect natally and /or by transit with a physical planet meaning one of the observable Hellenistic seven basic real planets.
CB: Yeah, that’s when they become–
CB: –much more manifest or much more visible or obvious in a person’s life when they’re tied into one of those seven traditional or visible planets.
RL: Yeah. I believe so. But, again, there’s something about Uranus that reminds us that we don’t see on the surface everything that’s there until something pops. And that’s the unpredictability. Uranus begs the question. You hear this over and over again and people that write about astrology. Uranus is unpredictable. But we predict the unpredictable. We say that something’s gonna happen to you, but we can’t predict what it is. And predicting the unpredictable is peculiarly quantum. Because there’s no way to know how it’s gonna manifest or when it’s gonna manifest. We have time ranges, and we have approximations of probability. And so that becomes part of the weirdness of Uranus in general. And I know I said this on the September forecast that we did recently. But Uranus only has one job, and that job is to release tension. And the tension can be irresolvable. And in other words, we have tensions in our lives that we let go, we bury because there’s no solution. It may be a political point of view that we hold in a family where everyone else holds something else. And we know when we bring up our belief, it’s just gonna create discord and argument. So we go, “Yep, we have a difference here. But we’re not gonna talk about it ever again.” kind of a thing. And Uranus takes those things that are irresolvable, and it blasts lightning at it. And again in nature when you have a storm building, you have positive and negative charges. And when they try to work it out when they rub up against each other, the positive becomes more positive. The negative becomes more negative. It’s like a tug of war that gets tighter and tighter and tighter and there’s no resolution until pew! And when that lightning strikes in that one moment, you have Uranus the awakener. The great awakener. The lights go on, and you can see the mountains in the background and the power plant down the block and the old junk car across the street for that one moment when the lightning strikes in the dead of night. And then it’s completely dark, but you know what’s there. And that’s Uranus’s function. It’s that instantaneous change of awareness that can’t be predicted, and it’s somehow outside the realm of fate and free will because we can’t predict the moment or what will happen when it occurs. We can only say that Uranus will release tension if it knows it’s there.
CB: Right. Yeah, that’s amazing. I love that example.
RL: It’s also incidentally the whole basis of the quantum concept of particle and wave. And this is a pet piece of mine that I also don’t wanna delve into deeply here, but the fact is that we see planets as particles. We look at them in charts, and we map them as particles. We look at transits and we go, “Oh, transiting Uranus is going to be conjuncting this person’s moon at 12 degrees of Taurus.” It’s a particle conjuncting another particle. And yet planets also travel like waves, and particle is like fate. It’s like this is what happens when these two things meet up. It’s like two particles like billiard ball mechanics, Newtonian mechanics. Whereas there’s another thing going on, and that is the waveform behind the individual transit. And, again, Uranus brings those things into focus because it’s undeterminable. It’s surprising. It’s radical. It doesn’t fit in. It’s going to express whether dad whether Saturn likes it or not, whether the church likes it or not, whether authority likes it or not. It doesn’t care what the ramifications will be afterwards. It is irrepressible. And the thing about an atomic explosion or lightning is that once you start the process, it cannot be stopped. Once lightning begins to strike, it’s gonna follow through. And so therefore it’s outside of the realms of our control. It’s again trans-saturnian. Doesn’t care about the rules.
CB: One of the things that makes me think of is especially in a character sense that Uranus it has this deep-seated drive where it has to be authentic to itself no matter what or no matter what’s going on around it. And that becomes almost like its primary impulse in a character sense.
RL: I think that’s true. But one has to be careful there because there are truly evil crazies that are true to themselves but themselves are somehow not true to good.
CB: Yeah. Well, it doesn’t have to mean that has to be objectively good or in good taste or morally good. But it has this impulse to do that which it wants to do. And sometimes that can be very self-centered.
RL: Yeah. Or very psychologically aberrated.
CB: Mhm. Right.
CB: Well, aberrant is an interesting term.
RL: It’s an eccentricity.
CB: Yeah, it’s a type of eccentricity.
CB: Yeah. Okay, so going back to–Where were we? Oh yeah, I wanna mention Steve Jobs just really quickly just because–
RL: Oh yeah.
CB: –he’s got Virgo rising. He’s got Jupiter at 20 Cancer and Uranus at 24 Cancer. And I always just think about in the ’90s he had this really successful advertising campaign. And it was called think different. That was the tagline. It was think different. And they would show images of all of these innovators like Einstein and other people in different fields that were far ahead of their time or who innovated. And I think of that very much when it comes to him and some of the ways that he through Mac and through Apple pushed for innovation.
RL: And how much money he made off it. And I think that a conjunction in his chart is opposed Venus.
CB: Yeah, it’s opposite Venus at 21 Cancer. It’s also square Neptune, and it’s also square Mars. It’s tied in–
RL: It’s also trine Saturn. Saturn is at that release point.
CB: Well, and I use his chart as an example because it’s also in his 11th house. And it was through his partnership with Steve Wozniak of course who was the actual tech guy early on whereas Steve was more like the idea and the marketing guy. But it’s through their friendship basically, cause they were high school friends, that they became–
RL: Yeah, and the brilliance of that thing different was the same advertising concept of I think it was something tastes good as a cigarette should, Luckies taste good like a cigarette should. And it’s incorrect grammar because it should have been as a cigarette should. And by the same token think different is incorrect. It should be think differently. It’s an adverb not an adjective. And it was done on purpose to be grammatically incorrect as an expression of the unique different.
RL: Yes, it was a very successful advertising campaign.
CB: Yeah. And just also just in terms of his pushing forwards with a personal computer and having the foresight to see that personal computing was the future and that this was gonna be something that was gonna change the world and that he wanted to be in the company that set that off and started that whole personal computer revolution.
RL: Yeah. Yeah.
CB: Yeah. All right. We have another quote from Tarnas. Okay, consider coming full circle at this point and going back to Richard Tarnas who I’ve always put at the end because he has a good way of summarizing the tradition pretty well.
CB: So who read the last one? Is it on me or you?
RL: I’ll read it.
CB: Okay. Do it dramatically though. To hear these quotes I read them in my head very dramatically, so.
RL: Well, yeah.
RL: This is from Cosmos and Psyche and talking about Uranus.
RL: “Associated with the principle of change, rebellion, freedom, liberation, reform, and revolution, and the unexpected breakup of structures with sudden surprises, revelations, awakening lightning-like flashes of insight, the acceleration of thoughts and events with births and new beginnings of all kinds and with intellectual brilliance, cultural innovation, technological invention, experiment, creativity, and originality.” Well, that’s a Proustian sentence. “Uranus transits are linked to unpredictable and disruptive changes hence the planet is often referred to as the cosmic trickster. Another set of themes associated with Uranus is a concern with the celestial and the cosmic with astronomy and astrology with science and esoteric knowledge and with space travel and aviation. With respect to personal character, Uranus is regarded as signifying the rebel and the innovator, the awakener, the individualist, the dissident, the eccentric, the restless, and the wayward.”
RL: The boy sure can write long sentences.
CB: Yeah, thank you. That was very dramatic. I liked that reading. All right, so that’s a lot there.
RL: A lot.
CB: One of the things that’s maybe worth mentioning here from–It gets into more historical things. But one of the things that he’s doing a little bit in the modern astrologers. There was a drift where in the second century when you look at Valens or even the medieval period, they associated Mercury with astrologers partially because astrologers were like translators of the stars or also like messengers of a fate or of the stars or what have you. But in modern times more and more Uranus started becoming associated with astrology. And I’ve sort of wrestled with that of why that is and to what extent that’s true or not true. Or why do you think that is? Or from your perspective why would astrology make the argument for if you defend that argument? I don’t know. Or what’s the rationale for it?
RL: Well, before I make the argument for it, I’d like to make an argument against any one-to-one correspondences from planets to real things.
RL: I think that they’re great teaching tools, and often they’re very useful.
RL: But often they don’t tell the whole picture.
CB: Yeah, and then astrologers have a tendency to get hung up on this debate. It’s like the–
RL: Absolutely. This means that–
CB: There can only be one association between this thing and that planet or what have you?
RL: Yeah. To quote a favorite word of Rick Tarnas’s, the archetypes are multivalent. And that is there’s many ways for them to hang and connect. But I do think that there is a Mercurial aspect to astrology. There’s also a Saturnian aspect to astrology. After all, it’s about time.
CB: Time. Yeah.
RL: When we look at a chart, we’re basically keeping cosmic time. On the other hand, there’s something about astrology that’s outside the limits of the status quo of science. You read books by great scientists even though some of them were astrologers. That gets conveniently set aside. The Johannes Kepler, for example.
CB: And I think that’s actually the reason why astrologers came to associate astrology with Uranus more and more because of astrology was on the outs from society by the time astrology was revived in the late 19th and early 20th century and was associated with sort of like fringe things with spiritualism and the new age movement and other things that were viewed as something that was not part of normal society.
RL: But, yeah, I agree. And yet, there’s also a futuristic technological especially now that astrology is so intimately tied up with computer calculations, computer graphics, research work on computers. It seems like the interface of astrology and energetic medicine. And you had people like Nikola Tesla saying to know the secrets of the universe, you need to know about frequency and vibration. And that’s all astrology is. Astrology is the study of frequency and vibration, very low frequency and very long-wave vibrations. But I think there’s a Uranian aspect.
CB: That’s your argument cause you think that the planets on their orbits out there are emitting sort of like a very low frequency almost like noise?
RL: I think so. I think Tesla thought so, too. Although he did not go there to astrology because he did not know anything about it. But when you when you extend the electromagnetic spectrum from cosmic rays and the visible light that we see that are–We see the color green at several hundred trillion cycles a second, and yet we have Pluto at four cycles a millennium. And so, yes, I think that there is something astrological that is actually tied into the very fabric of how the cosmos work. And I don’t think we’ve fully grappled with or integrated that, but I think that that’s part of the Uranian aspect of astrology is that it is sitting just outside of Saturn. And yet it has enough strength and comprehensive, intellectual integration to itself, integration to itself that it has the power to disrupt and to change everything that we know about science which is why science resists it so strongly. Scientists go out of their way to fake data and to misrepresent astrology either because of ignorance or because of very purposeful intent because astrology somehow seems to destroy the concept of a lot of the basis of science which basically says time is an independent variable. If I drop something today, it’s gonna accelerate at 32 feet per second per second. And if I do it next Tuesday or in a thousand years at a different time of day, scientific laws are not affected by time. And so astrology is totally confrontational to the very underpinning of the idea of repeatability in science. And here we have, this is Uranus’s territory. You can’t repeat a Uranus event. Uranus happens in ways that are–In my life I remember one major Uranus transit changed my life. And for years I’d been looking forward to when Uranus went through mid-sagittarius. It would complete a grand trine in my chart when Uranus would go over my descendant in mid-sagittarius. And it would form a trine with my Aries stellium and with Pluto in Leo. And I thought, “Man, this would be a time in my life when I would find freedom and I would find all those Uranian things.” And it would be amazing. And within a couple of days of Uranus hitting the exact descendant point, I was living in Southern California at the time. I was roller skating almost every day. My typical run would be Santa Monica to Venice Pier. And it was several miles, and that was what I was doing for exercise. And this particular beautiful day I had skated out to the end of Venice Pier. And I looked out, and I saw Santa Barbara and our Malibu and Catalina Island. And it was just magnificent, and I took a deep inhalation. And the next thing I knew I was on the ground spread-eagled, face down, my hand was bleeding. And all I could think of was I was struck by lightning. And I ended up getting blood poisoning even though I got a tetanus shot that same day. And I spent 10 days in the hospital, and I couldn’t use my right hand for about two and a half three months. Disability long story, but it changed my life because I was at that time managing a computer facility. I had 20 somewhat people responsible to me in downtown LA. My astrology books were in boxes in the garage, and i was doing what I thought I needed to be doing at that point in my life. And this was basically Uranus saying, “Okay, you’re not in control. We’re taking over.” And it was not an easy time. It was not fun. It was like Yellowstone having been burnt to the ground but being Yellowstone. And I couldn’t eat soup, I couldn’t shave, I couldn’t button my pants. I couldn’t brush my teeth. My left hand was pretty worthless.
CB: What was the transit again?
RL: Uranus trining my Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Pluto and conjuncting my descendant completing a grand trine.
CB: Uranus was on your descendant?
RL: Uranus was in Sagittarius on my Descendant.
CB: Okay, so it was opposite your–
RL: Opposite my Ascendant and completing a fire grand trine. And I always thought, “Oh, how cool.” Now looking back at it 30 years ago wow, it was cool. Because it made me have this reminder. I can’t bend this knuckle. This knuckle is gone from this accident. But it’s a physical reminder of how it doesn’t matter whether what I’m doing fits into the outer world, whether my wife or my bank account is gonna like it. I can’t just live a life that is normal. I have to let that Uranus fly. And I never stopped doing it. I literally had stopped doing astrology. Just there was no place for it in my life.
CB: You were trying to go back. This is the period we were trying to go back to the normal world and work like a computer job instead of being an astrologer.
RL: In effect. Yeah.
CB: And part of your lesson was that you had to let your freak flag fly, so to speak as they say.
RL: As they say.
CB: As they say. And you’ve been an astrologer wearing astrology T-shirts ever since then?
RL: Ever since.
RL: Yeah. And it was more than just astrology. It was music and poetry and other things that… But the point is that Uranus doesn’t give a crap whether what happens is nice or not to you. Its job is to explode whatever it is that is buried and whatever it is you’re not dealing with. I mean, and in my mind, I say, you know, Uranus looked at the situation and said, “You’re obviously not in control of this the way that it needs to be, we’re taking over. We’re taking you out of the picture temporarily.”
CB: And if it was on your Descendant, that means that was also your Uranus opposition, basically, roughly at the same time or coming up on it.
RL: It was still coming up on it. It was about three years away, guess my Uranus is late.
CB: [crosstalk 2.19.53] Okay. Cause I just want to say that cause it means it was also activating something that was in your first house to begin with, which is you’ve got to be Uranian, and if you’re not being true to that, then it’s gonna remind you of what you gotta be, sometimes very roughly.
RL: Exactly. But again, the important thing is it was a trine which shatters the idea, oh, trines are lovely, bullshit. And secondly, the Uranus creating a grand trine would be in the moment a positive. I mean, it was the hardest months of my life, I thought my life was over.
CB: Wait, but what was the medical thing that happened to you?
RL: I had tetanus, so I had blood poisoning.
CB: Oh, it was tetanus, okay. Did you cut yourself on something or what?
RL: I landed on the pier and who knows what was on the edge of the pier, I cut myself, I had two operations on my hand. I ended up having what’s called necrosis of the joint. My joint disappeared, it just got dissolved. And I was on disability cause I couldn’t drive the car, I had no use of my right hand. And there was a whole metaphor there of right hand control, right hand left brain. And again, I didn’t mean to over personalize this only to the extent that Uranus happens in a way that we don’t necessarily expect, and yet it is an awakener, it opens up our minds, it changes the status quo. It was in an instant. That thing, whatever it was that happened. And the only way I can describe it was I was struck by metaphysical lightning. I was standing still, I never wore hand guards, I never fell, you know. And I’m standing still and all of a sudden kapow I’m on the ground. And Uranus works that way, suddenly and without warning.
CB: Yeah, definitely. I had Uranus transiting my Ascendant when I discovered astrology. My Ascendant’s at like 17 Aquarius. And so when Uranus hit 17 Aquarius, suddenly I discovered that there was a lot more to the world than I thought there was, and it was a very rapid period of change and finding something I was passionate about, but also something that was very weird and that would be a very weird thing in terms of deciding to pursue that while I was still in high school as my primary profession, but also finding something I was so excited about that I decided to dedicate my life to it. So I’m mentioning that, just to go back to that question of like astrology and Uranus, and one of the things you mentioned earlier was science and astrology being on the outs with science. And I think that could be… Point for understanding that is just when astrology was revived in the 20th century, it is on the outskirts of science and it is not generally accepted by establishment of how the universe works and what our current knowledge of the cosmos is in terms of mainstream, especially academic or establishment science or academia or what have you. So maybe that’s part of the reason as well.
RL: Yes. But I come back to Doc in Back to the Future, and he probably could have in circles and diagrams and arrows explained exactly what was going on, even though it seemed like it shouldn’t work. It seems like astrology shouldn’t work.
CB: Yeah. Well, and that’s what I always say. I say that a lot on the podcast. I mean, astrology shouldn’t work, but for some reason it does. It shouldn’t work in the sense that it doesn’t really match with what we know about the way that the works at the present time.
RL: It feels more the universe is not stranger than you think, it’s stranger than you can think. That’s astrology.
CB: Yeah. Well, and part of the point there was just because something like quantum mechanics goes completely against Newtonian mechanics doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong. It just means there’s different layers to–
RL: Different powers of the microscope.
CB: Yeah, the universe what have you.
RL: Yeah, yeah. So I know this is your show, but my question now becomes, so knowing what we know about Uranus, how do we work with it? When we have a client who’s… Let’s come back to the person with, we look at the chart and we notice that their Moon is at 14 degrees of Taurus, and we know that Uranus in the sky now is at eight or 10 degrees or whatever it is. How do we approach that? What do we tell the client who’s coming into this personalization of this celestial shock treatment?
CB: Well, let’s use an example cause there’s two major Uranus time periods that everybody gets and one of them is the Uranus square that’s kind of–
RL: Around 21 ish.
CB: Yeah. And then there’s also the Uranus opposition around which is much more and that’s the one you were experiencing partially, the build up to that. And in society, people talk about the midlife crisis, where the guy decides to throw everything out and leave his marriage and buy a red sports car or what have you.
RL: It’s image that I always use.
CB: Yeah. For the Uranus opposition?
RL: Quit the job, leave the marriage, leave the kids, and buy a red Ferrari and drive it across country.
CB: Yeah. And just that sudden like need for like freedom and getting rid of all your, not just restrictions but obligations and responsibilities and to, you know, feel young again and all those other things. Some of those are very much core Uranus things anytime you’re having a major Uranus transit. So the thing is just to figure out the balance between overthrowing some things in your life that can be overthrown or should be overthrown versus not wanting to wake up the next morning having just like torched and set fire to everything in your life and thinking, “What have I done?”
RL: We’re back to the Saturn-Uranus dilemma. How do I make radical change without losing those things which I’ve spent years to build that can be still good for me if I can figure out a way to alter them to allow me to change?
CB: Yeah, or just figure out what is constructive change versus what is purely destructive and pointless change. There’s a version of Uranus which is like The Joker in The Dark Night from like the late 2000s, which is just like some people just wanna watch the world burn. And there’s a version of Uranus that just wants to be fully chaotic. It’s just chaos for chaos’s sake or anarchy for anarchy’s sake and have everything break down and just watch it burn. And sometimes that can be an impulse under a heavy Uranus transit. And sometimes that’s necessary, I mean, sometimes like in your instance, that ended up being a very traumatic and difficult and sudden and unexpected thing. But the loss of those parts of your life and that sudden u-turn that things took ended up being constructive in the long term. So sometimes that’s necessary even if painful in the short term. But yeah, there can also sometimes be… When it’s a matter of choices that we’re making, when it’s not something that’s external and being imposed upon us, that can be unclear about whether you’re making constructive changes or you’re making purely destructive ones.
RL: Yeah. And I think that’s true, but I also think that sometimes it’s difficult to manage Uranus. Again, it gets back to that concept that once lightning begins to strike we’re not gonna stop it. And here’s something about lightning that a lot of people don’t know. When lightning strikes, it actually begins usually with multiple paths, like five or six or eight paths all at the same time. And it ends up somehow along the way taking the path of least resistance and focusing all the energy, even though it’s already been fragmented, all the energy into one place. Which is kind of crazy. So Uranus in our life is going to do that same thing. It’s gonna take the course of least resistance to get the maximum effect, whether it’s graceful or not.
CB: But sometimes it also does that of opening up multiple paths at once and then it quickly–
RL: And here’s where, I mean, I think that astrology can be useful because rather than telling, you know, a client, “Oh my God, you’re approaching your Uranus opposition or this Uranus transit, everything in your life’s gonna fall apart and blah, blah, blah.” You know, is begin to think about what your ideal life would be and what you could do now two years before the transit to begin to bring some of those things into your life. Because Uranus only strikes when there’s tension. You know, granted we mostly see the Uranian things happening as these massive events, but if we’re being Uranian proactively and effectively, then that transit will come like Sam Reynolds talked about Jupiter, then it’ll just go, “Oh, you’re doing the right thing, here’s more of it.” It’ll just magnify, it’ll meet your donation, so to speak. It’ll meet that with the cosmic acknowledgement. And so Uranus transits do not have to be disruptive, they have to remind us of what we need to be doing rather than what we’re doing.
CB: Okay. Yeah. And we did an episode, I wanted to mention to people that if they go back and look at episode 197, we did a whole episode that was a workshop that was recorded at The Mercury Cafe with an audience of participants, where we did Uranus transits through each of the 12 houses. And we both talked about what those should mean theoretically and what we’ve seen in practice. And we also took some examples from the audience of people sharing their stories about what Uranus transits through certain houses meant for them. So people should check that out for like a detailed analysis of Uranus transits. Is there anything else going back to Tarnas to mention or that we haven’t dwelled upon so far in terms of–
RL: Space travel aviation. You know, I mean the Star Wars, Star Trek, even now billionaires in space. I mean, I think that Uranus is associated with Kitty Hawk, with aviation in general.
CB: Or just like futurism and sci-fi. Like, you know, sci-fi and thinking forward into the far future and projecting out science and technological developments into the far future is a very Uranian type thing in terms of that forward thinking component and that technological advancement component. All right.
RL: The other thing is that people with strong Uranus natally, I mean, they just don’t fit into a mold. One of the ones that come to mind is someone who actually shares my solar degree, that’s all we share. And that’s Ram Dass, who is a 16 degree Aires Sun that is closely conjunct Uranus. And here’s a Harvard, tenured Harvard psychology professor who basically ends up wearing white robes and beads and takes an Indian mystic as his guru after being fired with Tim Leary, who was another Uranus. I think Tim had, I think his Libra Sun was square… I think he was a Uranus Sun square, I’m not quite sure.
CB: Ram Dass, I have his chart because I discovered a few years ago he has one of the most like traditionally dignified charts I’ve ever seen, which I always thought was interesting cause I don’t know a ton about him, but I found that–
RL: I know a ton about him because I think I first encountered him at a public lecture when I was about 19. And so I have a great deal of affinity toward his work and his storytelling.
CB: So for those listening to the audio version, he has 18 Cancer rising with Jupiter exalted in Cancer at 11 Cancer, sort of close to the Ascendant. The Sun is exalted at 15 degrees of Aries in the 10th house conjunct Uranus at 15 degrees of Aries, as well as the North Node at 14 Aries. Venus is exalted at six degrees of Pisces in the ninth house. Saturn’s in its domicile traditionally at 22 Capricorn near the Descendant. The Moon is one of the only planets that’s not doing anything dignity-wise, it’s at seven degrees of Sagitarius in the sixth. But look at this, Mars is actually in Leo, which is not one of the signs of its dignity. But what’s funny about that is it’s actually in a mutual reception with the Sun which is in Aries. So the Sun and Mars actually have a sort of temporary dignity by exchanging signs, and then finally Mercury is just at like four degrees of Taurus in the 11th.
RL: When we talk about quintiles, we will see that Ram Dass has one of the most magically quintile charts you could possibly imagine.
CB: Okay. So quickly again, you were saying about, just for those that aren’t familiar with his life and his work, he was a tenured or who decided to–
RL: Well, he was a tenured professor who along with Tim Leary realized the psychological ramifications of LSD and mushrooms. And although they were legal at the time, they were dismissed from Harvard both of them together–
CB: In like the 1960s?
RL: Yeah, I think 1964, I think. And Ram Doss went off to India and became a disciple of Neem Karoli Baba. And yet he was a professor of psychoanalytic psychology and just brilliant. And probably his most famous book, although I must say that he was much better in person than in any of his books, but he wrote a book that became a mainstay of the 1960s and the name of the book was called Be Here Now. When anyone says Be Here Now, they’re quoting Ram Dass and Aries, be here now. And later on in his life, he wrote another piece that was called Be Old Now and Fierce Grace. He’s been a spiritual teacher that has guided at least a couple of generations. And anyone who’s never heard him you can find talks of his on YouTube I know, and he’s just a brilliant storyteller and just a real conscious light in the 20th century.
CB: And he passed away just a few years ago.
RL: Just a couple years ago, yeah.
CB: I forgot something there, cause there’s actually one more piece of dignity that I forgot, which is that his Moon which is in Sagittarius is actually exchanging signs with Jupiter which is in Cancer. So those are in a sort of mutual reception of sorts as well, so even the Moon. It’s really only Mercury is literally like the only planet traditionally at least that doesn’t have some sort either domicile exultation or mutual reception. I always thought that was interesting and meant to look into him a little bit more. All right.
RL: But another Sun conjunct Uranus who was like totally there’s never been anyone quite like him.
CB: Okay. So one of the things we do sometimes is planetary combination since we’re getting towards the end of this. So you mentioned Sun-Uranus and just like providing some quick delineations of some of these placements. One of the ones that I think that’s always interesting cause it’s kind of antithetical is a Venus-Uranus combinations. Let’s say hard aspects because Venus tends to bring things together and it represents marriage and relationships and unions and reconciling and all these nice things, whereas Uranus tends to be disruptive and tends to be erratic and tends to be unstable. So I always see Venus and Uranus as kind of antithetical planetary combination.
RL: Yes, but another word for Uranus is unconventional. I don’t think we used that word by itself. And when I see Venus-Uranus in a hard aspect, my daughter who’s a Scorpio who would disown me as a parent if she knew I was using this, but she won’t ever listen to this so it’s okay.
CB: Actually I talked to her years ago on Myspace and she thanked me. She was so excited, I remember talking to her one year in Myspace because she was excited that there were young people that were interested in astrology and that her dad wasn’t just… It wasn’t just like an old generation thing.
RL: She’s come a long way. But she has a very close Venus-Uranus conjunction, very close. And as a kid growing up, I could walk into a store with her, walk around the store and come to the front and I would know exactly what she would bring to the front of the store saying, “Dad, look at this.” And it was the strangest piece of art that was high quality in the store. And I think that people with Venus-Uranus connections have a very eccentric taste for what is valuable. And that is true both in material art forms, and she’s a curator, her work is art curation.
CB: That’s perfect, okay. So unconventional tastes.
RL: Unconventional, eccentric. Again, the orbit that is in a different orbit than everyone else’s. And so that is true with art and things of value in general, but in relationships, it’s often the person who is attracted to relationships that are unconventional. Now, again, this is a definition based upon temporal cultural social norms–
CB: Relative to whatever the current point in time is and current culture is.
RL: Exactly. But in no way, in my observation, does it represent difficulty or lack of satisfaction or bad luck in love unless you’re trying to fit the proverbial square peg into a round hole.
CB: So that’s sometimes when Uranus either as a natal placement signature or as a transit can run into issues as if they’re trying to do the conventional thing.
RL: Exactly. And there are cultures in which if you don’t do the conventional thing you get killed. So I’m not making light of that, I’m just saying that even though we think of those two energies as so different… It’s like Venus and Saturn, we think of them different, but boy, when they work, they’re magical. And so I think the same with Venus and Uranus, but it is an attraction toward that which is different.
CB: Yeah. Okay. That’s a good one, I like that. Somebody asked me next time to specify what aspects we’re talking about and to break down each one, but there’s no way to do that cause there’s way too many aspects. And we’re just talking about what happens when you bring those energies together and while different aspects are gonna modify that in different ways that are gonna be more stark or more flowing, we’re just talking about when they’re configured in some way this is what you’re gonna get one way or another.
RL: Yeah, exactly.
CB: All right. So we could spend an entire episode on Venus-Uranus, but let’s do Mars-Uranus.
RL: I think I talked about Angela Davis’s chart, radical, revolutionary, was tried but never convicted for supplying a gun in the Black Panther party stuff in Berkeley. She’s a double PhD in philosophy and professor emeritus at the University of California and was a student of Herbert Marcuse, who’s a radical sociologist and she’s been a long time Marxist. I was hoping I remembered it correctly. So she has a Mars-Uranus conjunction that’s part of an air grand trine, here’s a double PhD in radical politics.
CB: Okay. So for the audio listeners, she has Taurus rising and Uranus is at four degrees of Gemini and Mars is at six degrees of Gemini. So that’s a very close conjunction.
RL: And Neptune is at four degrees of Libra trine. And the Sun is at five degrees of Aquarius conjunct the South Node at six trine. That’s a pretty intense and powerful air grand trine. And she’s an intellectually solid being who started off… I mean, when I was in college, Chris, for about a year and a half you could not pick up the New York Times, I went to college outside of New York City, you could not pick up the newspaper without her picture being on the front page every two or three days. That’s how radical and popular or unpopular she was depending upon your politics of the time. And she settled into a long-term teaching career and is still quoted and recognized as being, you know, her politics are very radical, but she put her life on the line back in the ’60s, and that Mars-Uranus conjunction to me is often the person who is physically radical, someone who is willing to put their body on the line to express that which is again unconventional outside of the realms of authority. It can be the social rebel, it can be the person who might be considered to be difficult to be with cause they’re always starting fights or whatever, it doesn’t have to be always at that end of the spectrum, but it’s the person who’s gonna stand up for the rights of others also.
CB: Yeah. Cause Mars can be the impulse to fight and Uranus can be the rebel or the revolutionary, and so you put those together and it’s the person that’s like fighting against or wanting to overthrow the establishment, especially if there’s a higher ideal of something that you’re fighting against and of a forward thinking or future thinking ideal of the way things should be.
RL: Yeah. For some reason, Muhammad Ali’s chart came to mind and I think he had Mars in Taurus and so I don’t think, I guess he could have had Uranus… No, his Uranus would’ve been in Gemini. But it’s that speed and agility that whether he has that in his chart or not, he’s an example of how in sports figures you often see Mars-Uranus as people who are incredibly fast, whether they’re a fast runner or fast reaction, their reactive capabilities are incredibly fast. Do we have anything?
CB: No, sorry. This is still Angela Davis. Hold on, Muhammad Ali.
RL: I may be totally off base here. Well, he has the Saturn-Uranus is what it is.
CB: Yeah. I mean it’s kind of a co-presence.
RL: And it’s co-present with Mars, but it’s not that.
CB: Okay. Well, it’s still a Mars in the 10th whole sign house for me and Uranus–
RL: And Saturn–
CB: in Taurus in the 10th. Yeah. So with–
RL: Oh, but his Uranus is trine the Sun and is trine Neptune. That’s the where is he? I mean he’s so fast you couldn’t even… He was a blur. So even though it’s not Mars-Uranus, it’s Uranus in a grand trine. So he does have the Uranus active.
CB: Yeah. And going back to the chart we talked about previously, but the US chart of course of the United States of America for the signing of the Declaration of Independence and literally starting the revolutionary war basically at this point was this… Sorry, I’m bringing up your chart.
RL: Yeah. Get out of there.
CB: This Mars-Uranus conjunction in Gemini around that time period. There we go. So Mars-Uranus in Gemini, that brings up something that’s kind of relevant here that’s a little bit weird, which is the thing that astrologers just started noticing a little under a century after the US was founded. Which is like once Uranus came back to Gemini and back to the sign that Uranus is in when the US was born, that was the civil war that the civil war happened upon the Uranus return of the United States where it would’ve not just been coming back to the natal sign of Gemini 80 something, 84 years later, but also going over that Mars as well, and then there was this major catastrophic war in the United States at that time. And then weirdly one Uranus cycle later, once Uranus came back to Gemini again World War II in the 1940s.
RL: And we have Uranus coming around for its third return roughly… Roughly Uranus’s third return… This is like the Jupiter-Saturn confluence at age 60, where five Jupiter returns is two Saturn returns. Roughly the Pluto return is the third Uranus return. Not exactly, but it’s 84 times three is about 240.
CB: Okay, yeah. So ever since one of the very first podcast episodes when I did one with Nick Dagan Best about his book on Uranus in United States chart. Astrologers have been speculating this for a long time, is there gonna be some other major conflict or war when Uranus goes into Gemini and Uranus has its third return. Anyway, so that’s Mars-Uranus, I think we can leave it at that. There’s probably other–
RL: Yeah, and Mars-Jupiter we kind of already did with Steve Jobs. I’m sorry, with Jupiter-Uranus. And Jupiter and Uranus just love being together. I mean, a number of years ago I did an article for the Mountain Astrologer on the Jupiter-Uranus cycle. I think it’s about a maybe 13-year cycle, something like that. And it’s just fascinating the technological breakthroughs that occur.
CB: Technological innovation.
RL: Technological innovation–
CB: And growth. And even though it’s a weird phrase, but quantum leaps in technology, even though the phrase quantum leap is kind of a weird phrase too.
RL: No, but I’m glad you said that because when we talked about earlier Uranus being the quantum planet, the changes that Uranus seems to be related to are often like quantum leaps, and what’s a quantum leap? A quantum leap is a change between two points that is instantaneous. It’s a jump that does not respect time or space. It’s just boom there, that’s what a quantum leap is. And Uranus certainly does that.
CB: Yeah. It’s just a funny phrase because the phrase quantum leap in the past couple decades has come to me in like a leap very far forward basically in some ways. But the quantum realm is like very small. So it should literally mean like a very small leap, but in actual usage it means a far leap into the future.
RL: Well, I would say that the association of quantum with very small is actually a limited way of understanding it because if we really believe the Emerald Tablet concept of as above, so below the within and the without of things are one and the same, we’re just existing on some midpoint between the greater and the lesser, well, therefore those same things that happen at the what we call the subatomic level where quantum physics occurs, it is my strong contention that that is what happens at the macrocosmic level and that’s why you have these space time disorientations, you have what Rick Tarnas calls not synchronicity, but diachronicity where you have connections not in the same moment but across time. And so yeah, I think quantum is also about the very, very, very large, not just the very, very, very small.
CB: Okay, that makes sense. Okay. So Jupiter sudden changes, okay.
RL: And then we come to the… I’m sorry, you were gonna say.
CB: I was just going to see if there’s anything else about Jupiter we should mention, but maybe that’s good. Sudden fortune, that’s the like lottery winning sort of can be transit. Sudden unexpected good fortune. All right, let’s go to Saturn-Uranus. And this is something we’ve also talked about because it’s very present this year. It’s the main outer planet aspect that’s happening in 2021 into 2022. We just had, what was it? The second pass last month. And one of the things that happened was the sudden and rapid and somewhat unexpected fall of the Afghanistan government that had been in power for 20 years and suddenly over the course of a few weeks or a month it just crumbled. And all of a sudden the Taliban overthrew it and came back into power and the US departed at the same time.
RL: Yeah. And let’s remember though that there is still a third and possibly a fourth shoe to fall because there will be another Uranus-Saturn square on Christmas Eve eve, and then next fall, I think September, October, it will come back within about a half a degree. And so I don’t think we’re done with that whole scenario yet, but the–
CB: Something I forgot to mention that forecast when we talked about that was the Afghanistan government, there was actually a birth time for it cause astrologers with Astro-Databank were watching when that government was formulated in December of 2001 and it had Taurus rising. Yeah. So that’s the reason why you’re in a stationing in mid-August, I think was so important and tied in with a Saturn-Uranus square cause that government for 20 years we had Taurus rising.
RL: We went over that in my apprentice program which I run through Patreon. And we had Nick Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes, it had that data in it. And we actually called that chart up and looked at it and its transits.
CB: Nice. Cool. Saturn-Uranus is just if Saturn is the structures, then Uranus is the destabilization of that. So destabilization of structures, but also maybe reorientation of structures or figuring out, pushing the boundaries of them maybe forward in some way.
RL: That’s back to Rob Hand’s irresistible force meets immovable object. When I see Saturn-Uranus together in a chart, I often ask the person some variation asking them… Well, it’s almost like I hate authority, I am authority. It’s the iconoclast that basically says, “But I have the real goods.” And I don’t know if you have Bob Dylan’s chart handy, but I think he has the Saturn-Uranus conjunction in I think it was 1941. I might be off a little bit here.
CB: Let me see. I may not have it.
RL: Okay, not a big deal. But again, it’s the I hate authority. I am authority. It’s the–
CB: Here we go.
RL: Oh, well done. Yeah, and it has the moon enclosed, the moon confined by the Saturn-Uranus, which is only six degrees orb. But that’s a crazy stellium.
CB: So for the audio listeners, Saturn is Sag rising and then Saturn at 20 Taurus, the Moon at 21 Taurus, Uranus at 26 Taurus, and then Jupiter at 29 Taurus. So it’s a very tight stellium of planets there.
RL: Yeah, and all in the sixth house, but it certainly… And actually the Jupiter-Uranus is the closer of those, but it really is all of them mixed together, but Uranus is in the mix and you wanna talk about breaking every rule and going against the grain. People forget that in the 1964 Newport Folk Festival Bob Dylan got booed off stage.
CB: People do forget that. You’re gonna have to explain to our younger audience of 20-year-olds.
RL: Who Bob Dylan is?
CB: Well, even I’m dealing with this at this point, I’m in my mid-30s, and suddenly I realized my pop culture references are no longer valid. So you’re gonna have, have to do some work too to–
RL: Well, so arguably, in the 1960s, early mid-’60s, Bob Dylan was the singular greatest pop hero in the United States probably equal to the Beatles, which puts them in a class of their own. And often it was Dylan and the Beatles that were considered to be like, you know, the difference was that the Beatles were electric rock and roll and Dylan came up through the Woody Guthrie folk tradition, but his early songs like The Times They Are a-Changin’ and Blowin’ in the Wind, I mean, this guy has written more songs that have been covered by more people than anyone ever. And in 1964 he was playing the Newport Folk Festival.
CB: Wasn’t All Along the Watchtower technically like a Bob Dylan song that Hendrix covered?
RL: Oh, not techically, it was off of John Wesley Harding.
CB: Literally, okay.
RL: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, but Dylan’s song library is crazy. I mean, there are songs that other people did also. In fact, The Byrds kind of came to their fame and fortune, another 1960s group, for those of you who are not of that age. But The Byrds had hits like Mr. Tambourine Man, Chimes of Freedom, Sonny and Cher, I just wanna be your friend and all I really wanna do is be friends with you, and there’s a few others. But all these acts basically were doing Dylan covers. And actually when Dylan heard The Byrds do versions of his stuff electrically, that got Dylan turned on to using an electric guitar in 1964, I think it was, maybe ’65. He came to the Newport Folk Festival, played a set, was like the hero of that entire world. Came back and played a second set with an electrical band, electric guitar, and he was booed off stage called a traitor. And in some ways it was Dylan that created the whole synthesis of the folk tradition with the electric tradition. And in fact, after a motorcycle accident, Dylan kind of went into reclusion and recorded a whole bunch of stuff from his home in Woodstock, New York, and his backup band that he toured with for several years later on went to be come known as The Band, that was Dylan’s studio backup group. And I mean, when Dylan was on tour, he had like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for a year was his backup band on tour. I mean, Dylan was an icon, still is, he’s like 82 years old and was recently awarded the Nobel Prize, the only poet, songwriter, singer-songwriter to ever cross that boundary and be awarded a Nobel prize for his contribution to literature. But he was with Joan Baez, the white boy that with Joan Baez did the freedom rides in the south. And he sang at the 1964 Martin Luther King I Have a Dream gathering protest in Washington, DC. Dylan performed one song that was about the death of Medgar Evers, a black man that was shot in Mississippi, I think. And so Dylan basically invented the genre of what became known as protest songs.
CB: Yeah. I know the like Hurricane Rubin Carter was one that he wrote that song.
RL: He wrote the story of the Hurricane.
CB: Right, to bring focus to the plight of this guy that was falsely imprisoned.
RL: Exactly. And this was way before it was “fashionable”. I mean, in the mid-’60s, he was writing these socially moving songs. In fact, I think it was Pearl Jam did a cover of his song called Masters of War, which is just a biting song about people who sit behind desks and drop bombs. I wanna see your blood run down the drain. I mean, intense stuff. But here we have in his chart we have the Jupiter-Uranus, the opening entire… I mean, there was no such thing. When people heard Mr. Tambourine Man by The Byrds on the radio, no one ever heard those kind of lyrics before. These are lyrics that could have been written by a Blake or a Shelley or Rumi. It was like, what are these doing on AM radio? And o the fact that he has that Jupiter-Uranus conjunction but Saturn is there and the Moon is there, and he’s been on perpetual tour for like 50 some odd years. They call it Dylan’s Never Ending Tour.
CB: And I wanna say because he has Sagittarius rising, that Jupiter is the ruler of his Ascendant and takes on a special importance in his chart and in terms of his personality, but also to some extent from like a ancient perspective or Hellenistic perspective, his life direction as well. And that makes that Uranus conjunction much more important in his chart, but also characteristic of his personality or characterizes his personality in some ways.
RL: And even though it’s out of sign, it’s still also less than three degrees, about less than four degrees conjunct his Sun, the Jupiter is.
CB: Yeah, that’s a good point. So he’s Sun’s at three degrees of Gemini. So it’s also pretty close conjunct that Jupiter, as well as that Uranus.
RL: But Dylan is a total Uranian is my point here. And he fits the bill of being other than normal genius, but totally didn’t give a crap as to what anyone thought. In fact, he would do… When he was just becoming famous, he was known for doing two or three interviews that were under release of an album. He would do these publicity interviews, and he would answer questions completely different at each interview that were mutually exclusive. Like when you wrote this song or… I mean, he would make shit up that was just not based on reality. Because he was like the total trickster jokester. This is Uranus again as the I don’t fit in, I don’t wanna fit in, I don’t wanna be part of your party, I’m playing my own game and I’m making it up as I go along. Anyhow, I’m glad we looked at that chart cause he’s such a Uranian. And at 81, he came out with a new album with original songs that are as stunning as anything he’s ever written.
CB: So it brings up there’s a forward thinkingness to Uranus but there can also be like an obstinateness sometimes as well.
RL: Yeah. Well, they’re all in Taurus and it is still widely conjunct Saturn with a Moon in Taurus too. But yes, there’s an odd rigidity to Uranus that is almost it’s rigidity in its need for change. I know that sounds crazy.
CB: Well, it can be uncompromising to its principles and to a Uranian that’s usually how it’s perceived. They’re like, “I’m gonna stick with my principles and you cannot shake my belief in this thing. But it sometimes from an external standpoint looking at that, it can come off as like obstinateness.
RL: Yeah, again, it gets back to that quantum paradox thing. He exemplified that paradox. He looked and he seemed like a total flake, but he has something like 45 studio albums in his career. He shone up like all those planets in Taurus and he’s… Yeah, enough on that. But that was a good chart to do for a closing chart cause he is such a Uranian and anyone who’s younger who doesn’t know Dylan’s work, man do a YouTube run of five or six of his songs and get the lyrics cause the guy is more of a poet. People go, “Oh, I can’t stand his voice.” Well, it’s not about his voice, it’s about he used music to deliver his poetry.
CB: Yeah. His chart, that Mercury placement in late Gemini is just ability as a writer. It makes me think of another late Mercury in Gemini writer recently who became famous initially cause of his writing and ability to communicate, which is Anthony Bourdain who also had Mercury later in Gemini.
RL: Got it, yeah. And that Mercury, I think is conjunct his Descendant if I’m not mistaken maybe.
CB: Yeah. That’s correct. Descendant at 20 and Mercury at 23. Something else I was gonna mention, but that’s good. So that’s Saturn-Uranus. Uranus-Neptune, that’s more of a generational thing which I get into–
RL: Yeah. You Know, when I look at those planets there, unless the pair is connected to a personal planet, it becomes tougher to delineate. I mean, I’ll often look at, okay, so if someone was born in the ’60s, with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, I’ll look and see what house it falls in. But it’s gonna be in the same sign for everyone. And it was around for several years in Virgo, Uranus-Pluto, Uranus-Pluto conjunction in the mid-’60s in Virgo.
CB: Yeah. Like Kurt Cobain had that on his Ascendant, for example.
RL: Yeah. And so I’m more interested then in not the fact that Uranus and Pluto are together, although together they would indicate a nonconformist eccentric, revolutionary expression of the bacchanalian transformative underworld of Pluto. I mean, that would be one way of saying it.
CB: Yeah. Well, Pluto takes things to extreme. We’ve skipped Uranus-Neptune, we’ve gone to Uranus-Pluto, but that’s fine. But Uranus-Pluto tends to take things to extremes, and Uranus has that impulse for rebellion and freedom such as taking that up the Nth degree.
RL: But unless that conjunction was aspected to some personal planets, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the individual was necessarily connected to that transpersonal energy. And then we kind of touched on that at the very beginning when we look at these trans-Saturnian planets, their importance often becomes how they are wired into the physical planets, into the seven planets.
CB: Yeah. So here’s my favorite example of that was just Kurt Cobain who had that so he had the Ascendant at 19 degrees of Virgo, and Pluto was at 19 Virgo and Uranus was at 23 Virgo. And then that was opposite his Mercury, the ruler of the Ascendant, which is at 18 degrees of Pisces, as well as a bunch of other Pisces planets. But I always thought that was interesting partially because we talk about the outer planets because they’re so slow being generational influences, but I think there’s something to that about how sometimes people that do get that tied into their chart personally, through personal planets or by being [prompt] on angles sometimes become the influencers of generations.
RL: There’s like the in inflection points of the whole energy. I totally agree with that.
CB: I was watching this documentary cause apparently this is what I do now in my mid-’30s, running all these like ’90s documentaries of looking back at the ’90s and documenting social trends. I think it’s called Dark Side of the 90’s is the name of the series, but one of them is about grunge and about the rise of grunge out of the Seattle indie rock scene in the early 1990s and how Nirvana’s album, once their second album came out, just changed the shape of the rock scene. And it went almost overnight from the hair bands of the 1980s to suddenly grunge being the thing within a matter of just days or weeks. Yeah, but so perhaps sometimes people with those placements being able to influence entire generations in some way.
RL: So you wanna know how time marches on, you know the cover of the first album of the infant floating in the water, that kid is suing them.
CB: Well, and it’s weird though cause he’s suing them cause he asked them to be in an art exhibit of his a few months ago, and they didn’t get back to him. So now he is suing them. Well, [20 generational], the 20th anniversary of 9/11 just happened within the past week. And there’s astrologers now that are practicing astrologers that were born after 9/11 that I know through like Twitter or around that time. So, you know, needing to explain cultural references is something that’s new that I’m getting used to. So that’s why I was laughing about that earlier with helping you explain who Bob Dylan is. Yeah. All right. I’ve got to explain like who Kurt Cobain is pretty soon. All right. So we did Uranus-Pluto sort of, not really, but I wanted to not skip over Uranus-Neptune cause that was a favorite research topic of mine at one point because there was a conjunction of Uranus-Neptune that happened in the early ’90s in 1992 and 1993. And it’s funny to go back and look at schedules for conferences and astrology magazines from back then because astrologers were talking about like what’s gonna happen and what does this mean for astrology or the world in general? And there was this really interesting thing that happened in 1992 and 1993 is that there was a group of astrologers that met at a conference.
CB: ’92, yeah.
RL: You said ’82.
CB: Okay, yeah. Sorry, ’92 ’93, and they ended up forming Project Hindsight and the movement to go back and look at older forms of astrology. And I always thought that was interesting when I got into Hellistic astrology in the mid-2000s. And I went back in history with that conjunction and noticed that every time Uranus-Neptune conjoined, there was always a revival of older forms of astrology which were then synthesized with whatever the prevailing modern astrology was at that point in time. And that’s since been what’s happened and I kind of figured out in the mid-2000s that that was again what was gonna happen with us. But I’ve always wondered, I can kind of understand why that is with Uranus, but I’ve always been a little bit uncertain about why it was a Uranus-Neptune conjunction that coincides with that in the history of astrology going back two or three thousand years. But it’s an interesting thing to think about in terms of maybe giving us some insight either into the nature of astrology or the nature of Uranus-Neptune.
RL: Or the nature of Neptune itself, which is, I think of all the planets sometimes Neptune is arguably the least understood of the outer planets, even though we all think we know what it is. Part of its meaning is that it’s not understood. Yeah, I don’t have a quick, easy answer for that, but I know that before Jim Lewis died, the lecture that he was doing on the circuit that I heard him give actually in Seattle, this must have been in ’92, maybe ’92 or ’93. It was around the time of that conjunction.
CB: And he was the founder of astrocartography or the inventor of astrocartography.
RL: Yeah, and an all around brilliant astrologer. And the lecture that he was doing was on the long term cycles of Uranus and Neptune and how every fourth cycle Saturn was in the picture as a conjunction. And that those were the architectural change points in the development of what the centers of civilization were. It was a fascinating lecture. I don’t know that I can recreate it all without having thought about it for years and years and years. But the Uranus-Neptune thing is interesting because there have been a few times where it’s followed a Uranus-Pluto conjunction fairly closely. One of those times was 1965 to 1992. So within a Saturn cycle, you had Uranus conjoining with Pluto, which was the outermost planet in the solar system. And then you had in 92, 93, you had Uranus joining with Neptune, which was the outermost planet in the solar system at that time. Well, it turns out that in 1455, there was a Uranus-Pluto conjunction in 1455 that is connected with the Gutenberg Bible. I mean, that’s the archetype of what that breakthrough was in consciousness with the first automated printing press movable type. There was a Uranus-Neptune conjunction while Neptune was the outermost planet in 1489 within a Saturn cycle. And 1455 was the Gutenberg press, and Gutenberg thought. There was only one book that would ever need to be printed on it and that was the bible.
CB: Right, but that ended up being the beginning of printing as we know it.
RL: And in 1489, Marsilio Ficino’s translations of Plato in Venice were printed for the first time. And arguably that dispersion of that information is what created the Protestant Reformation ultimately was the availability of this non-Catholic doctrine that the church was not happy with. Now the reason why that’s relevant is because Neptune has to do with the dispersion of the energy. You take that to 1965, ’66, IBM came out with its system 36, model 36, I think it was. That was the first self-contained business computer that you could buy, and it had the software basically built into it to run a business, big business. And IBM thought that there would only be a few customers for it or specific customers, that is the largest corporations and governments. And then you go to the Uranus-Neptune dispersion and you have the worldwide web appearing. And you have all of a sudden personal computers that everyone has one and it becomes the, “Oh my God, this isn’t just about government and business, in fact, it may be the downfall of nationalism and singular ideologies.” There’s a correspondence, and I think we get to the flavor of what the Saturn… I’m sorry, I keep saying Saturn. You get to the flavor of what the Uranus-Neptune is and that it disperses the energy. It’s like there’s no boundary here. I mean, Uranus powers through the wall of Saturn. Neptune says, “What wall? I don’t see a wall. You see a wall? Nothing here.”
CB: Yeah. That’s perfect. Okay. Well, that kind of brings things to full circle. We skipped over, we’ve mentioned them in passing though, Mercury and the Sun and Moon more or less, right?
RL: Yeah. Mercury is a good one. I mean, because Mercury has such an affinity to Uranus. And again, because Mercury is considered to be the… And actually it goes Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus. They’re not octaves, but there’s Mercury, the lower mind, Jupiter, the higher mind, and Uranus, the distribution of that through the nervous system and through now the worldwide web, which is arguably an exo-nervous system. And so Mercury-Uranus, someone who thinks fast, clever, beyond belief. I had a couple of Mercury-Uranus things noted before, but they disappeared somewhere.
CB: Yeah. Thinks fast, speaks fast, fast communication, fast thinking, sometimes thinks outside of the box or communicates in a way that’s innovative or eccentric in some way. So eccentric communication.
RL: Yes, eccentric and again, it’s communication that is genius, radical, different, and it doesn’t necessarily fit in. Yeah, doesn’t necessarily fit in. Okay, here’s what I was looking for. We have Johannes Kepler with Mercury conjunct Uranus. Oscar Wilde with Mercury opposed Uranus. Lots of writers, I mean, Charles Dickens with Uranus-Mercury, James Hillman with Uranus conjunct Mercury. James Hillman being known, I think, in our world as Rick Tarnas’s teacher or cohort maybe, companion.
CB: And that Mercury-Uranus conjunction in Kepler’s charts important cause he was actually a Gemini rising. So Mercury is the ruler of his Ascendant. So once again, just sometimes putting the focus on how if that planet is closely configured to the ruler of the Ascendant, it can make it even more important in the chart or the life as a whole.
RL: Yes. Yeah, yeah. And you have people like Charlie Chaplin with Mercury opposed Uranus. I mean, there’s a long list here, but these are people who are clever and who think fast. Galileo had Mercury square Uranus, Bobby Fischer had Mercury square Uranus, the chess player, very eccentric. Marcel Marceau, who was a very well known French pantomimist, mimic, whatever you call that. He had Mercury conjunct Uranus. So those are some people.
CB: Okay. Yeah. There’s a lot of technological innovation in there. So we mentioned Sun-Uranus, you mentioned Ram Dass as being a good example of that. Kepler kind of has a wide one as well, Sun-Uranus conjunction in Capricorn.
RL: Sigmund Freud.
CB: Freud, okay.
RL: Percy Shelley, who we talked about out and who wrote Prometheus Unbound, Descartes, Galileo had Sun square Uranus, Descartes had Sun conjunct Uranus, Isaac Newton had Sun sextile Uranus, these are all breakthrough thinkers. Thomas Jefferson, Sun square Uranus. Yeah, that’s enough. I mean, but again, these are people whose vitality and energy were in some way just outside of the box. They could not be contained by “normal”.
CB: Something about their very spirit that was sort of Uranian or breathed in the sort of spirit of Uranus and exuded that. And then finally Moon-Uranus.
RL: Well, with the Moon it’s interesting because we look at Freud who had the Sun-Uranus and yet Jung who was arguably more, I don’t mean in gender, but more feminine in his approach to archetypes, Jung had the Moon square Uranus. But people like George Bernard Shaw, a brilliant SAS playwright, had Uranus conjunct the Moon or the Moon conjunct Uranus, Oscar Wilde, who I mentioned earlier, had the Moon square Uranus.
CB: So there’s something, you know, in a modern context, the Moon is often associated with the emotions and the emotional state of the person on some internal level and something about that having a Uranian quality to it.
RL: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There was a couple of others here that I thought were good that I seem… Lord Byron, who was a contemporary of Shelley’s but another one of the romantic poets had the Moon conjunct Uranus. They’re softer and more connected perhaps with anima than animus.
CB: Okay, cool. Well, I think that covers all the planetary combinations. I am not gonna make us run through the Uranus through the houses.
RL: Oh good, because you already have that on another recording anyway.
CB: Yeah. So people can check that on episode 197 of The Astrology Podcast that’s titled something like Uranus transits through the houses. And that’ll give you some idea, not just in terms of transits, but also in terms of natal placements as well, what Uranus in the houses can mean. Yeah, I think we did it. Thank you for joining me for this today.
RL: We did it twice.
CB: We did. We did a three hour and 20-minute run, and that was after an initial false start and hour delay of the power going out. I’ll throw that in maybe here at the end as a little outtake just to show you what happened and what Uranus is like and what happens when you invoke Uranus is sometimes you have to expect the unexpected and be able to roll with the unexpected. I think that’s one of the tasks.
RL: It would be fun to post that not with the rest and just go here it is and leave it for a day.
CB: That can be the episode, that’s episode like 225 of The Astrology Podcast, and it’s just like blip 40 seconds long. It’s me introducing the episode and the power goes out and then I just roll credits. Yeah, that would be good. All right. Well, thanks a lot for joining me. Tell me, you have a YouTube channel which is rapidly growing and has become very popular, especially for your forecast, where you’re regularly posting forecasts for the weeks and months to come.
RL: I don’t do a weekly, I do a monthly on that. Yeah, yeah. And I do more material for Patreon subscribers, but my public YouTube channel is basically a monthly forecast. And although you and I talked about this before, I didn’t realize it’s just youtube.com/ricklevine. It gets you there.
RL: That’s concise, I like that. And if you wanna find out more about my other offerings, patreon.com/ricklevine. And I do write a daily with a graphic and a daily blurb. That’s typically a short maybe 200, 250 words a day. It’s not by sign, but it’s like the weather report. And those are on Instagram. Excuse me. My voice is finally going. Those are on Instagram and Facebook. And on Instagram, it’s what a surprise, Rick Levine is the account. And on Facebook, it’s facebook.com/ricklevine.
CB: And you’re one of the most experienced writers of forecasts that I know cause you’ve been doing it for years, but also because you always have this poetic quality to your writings that’s very unique and very–
RL: Thank you. I’ve been doing it for 20 years, just over 20 years.
CB: Yeah. And it makes a difference having experience cause it’s not something that you initially just know how to do, even if you’re really good at astrology, you’ve been doing it for a while. Writing a forecast for a day or for a person is a unique skill to learn.
RL: And there’s a story there that actually, if anyone wants to hear it, we did it on one of the early podcasts. I don’t know what the episode number is, but yeah, I’ve been writing something astrological every day for 20 years.
CB: Yeah. We did an early, it was like episode 40 something of The Astrology Podcast. There’s only an audio version, but it’s on the podcast website. If you just go at Astrology Podcast Rick Levine, you’ll find it.
RL: That’s like being an early investor of Microsoft or something having been on episode 40 something.
CB: Yeah. You got in at the ground level. So let’s see. It was about writing a horoscope column, and I’m just trying to find… There it is, episode 80, writing horoscope column with Rick Levine. Yeah, 80 is kind of late.
RL: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s embarrassing for an Aries to be at 80.
CB: Aries stellium, so it was still 2016. So that was still pretty early in the run of the forecast. Maybe there’s astrologers already that have been born since then all I know that are practicing already at this point. All right. Thanks a lot for joining me as my second or third guest back in the studio.
RL: It’s a great studio. Thank you for inviting me and thank you for the work that you do. I mean, not just for the fact that you do it for yourself, but what you do for the community and for astrology, I think, is very important. I mean, I think you’re really doing some important stuff that’s really creating archives and laying groundwork that is very important. Thank you.
CB: Yeah. Thanks, I appreciate it. And thanks for helping to start Kepler and being there at different points because it’s always been fun seeing you and hanging out with you back then when we used to stay up late at night at the Kepler symposiums and talk and debate about signs versus causes and things like that.
RL: I still stay up late at night.
CB: Okay. Well, we’ll have to do that again tonight, go get some dinner. All right. Thanks a lot for joining me.
RL: Thank you.
CB: Thanks everyone for watching this episode of The Astrology Podcast or listening to it. Please be sure to like this video and subscribe, leave a comment below, whatever, and we’ll see you again next time.
CB: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, I’m gonna be talking with astrologer Rick Levine about the meaning of the planet Uranus in astrology. So hey Rick, welcome to the show.
RL: Well, thank you for being here. It’s not only being on the show, it’s in the show. It’s wonderful to be here in Denver.
CB: So you are actually visiting, your driving through town on the way to a little conference and a vacation on the East Coast and you decided to swing through Denver. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to record a discussion as part of my series on the planets, on the first outer planet in the series, which is Uranus. So I’ve done up through Mars at this point, then I’m gonna do Saturn here in the next few weeks. We’re getting a little ahead of myself, little ahead of the times, but I think that’s appropriate for Uranus
CB: You cannot make that up. We literally just had a complete power outage in the entire building at the beginning of trying to record the Uranus episode.
RL: That has to be left on right up to the blip and then a reintroduction. Anyway, you have to start everything anew, that’s like amazing.
CB: Yeah. All right. Some lights on. One of the questions is, was that the entire building or was that just here for so reason like flipping at a circuit breaker or something? Are any of these still running? No. All the cameras died, everything died. Hopefully nothing got fried in the process.
RL: What time is it exactly?
CB: It’s 4:58. So that must have happened at like 4:57. You wanna write that down?
RL: Yep, I do.
CB: Isn’t Saturn right on the Ascendant right now? It is, the Ascendant’s at 7:12 and Saturn’s at 7:21. We started with Saturn right on the Ascendant.
RL: That’ll teach us.
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