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February 24, 2005

Uranus and Metamorphosis

Uranus transits can be unsettling and life-altering. All Aquarians got a taste of at least one strong Uranian transit in the past few years, as Uranus transited through Aquarius between 1996 and 2003. Here is an excerpt from an excellent but out-of-print book; Alexander Ruperti's Cycles of Becoming. It's the first part of his chapter on The Uranus Cycle.

In the humanistic approach, the three planets beyond the orbit of Saturn symbolize stages in human development which are "transcendent". These planets represent new factors affecting human activity on both social and individual levels, factors which continually upset the status quo, both in thought and action on all levels of society. Since their discovery, Western civilization finds itself in a state of crisis, due in part to the fundamental social and economic changes introduced by modern science and technology. Additionally, repercussions are felt on the personal level as individuals find themselves in a perpetual state of upset. In an attempt to meet this constant state of crisis, different schools of psychology have appeared, each emphasizing its own approach to the problems of modern life. As Rudhyar has pointed out, the present widespread emphasis on the use of psychological techniques, including astrology, is the direct result of the need to meet this universal state of crisis.

There is a general tendency to over-react, especially on an emotional level, to the word "crisis," to view it as something dire and dreadful which must be avoided at all costs. The more recent schools of psychology define "crisis" as a
phase of growth, either of the individual or society. It has purpose and meaning in relation to the overall development of the human personality or the collectivity passing through such a phase. Crisis is necessary to the development, although the form it takes is not inevitable. Change, transition and transformation are necessary ingredients of the human experience, but this does not mean that violent revolution or war are the only means of bringing them about socially. In the same way, a personal crisis of growth does not necessarily produce illness, neurosis, insanity or tragic loss. There seem to be two distinctly different fundamental aims to the psychological treatment of crises. The first, and unfortunately the most common, is to try to re-establish the state of so-called normalcy which the crisis upset. This is the aim of both the social psychologists and the Freudians and can be linked astrologically to the Jupiter-Saturn level of functioning. The alternative aim, first put forward by Carl Jung, is to use crises as challenges to greater growth, as means to induce an inner metamorphosis of the personality. This attitude can be linked astrologically to Uranus and Neptune. The humanistic astrologer knows that such crises are often stressful and disturbing. It is the point of change/no-change at which the person must either make a conscious decision or become the victim of fate. He must either act or be acted upon. The point of change is never comfortable or comforting; however, in order to attain personal maturity, crises must be met, understood and assimilated.

This approach takes the person well beyond the level of "self". Whereas on the Jupiter-Saturn level one is challenged to become
a greater and better individual, rather than merely to accept the status quo, on the level of Uranus-Neptune he is challenged to become greater than an individual. As one changes his frame of reference, his life assumes a meaning on the collective or even universal level, rather than the purely personal one. Ego desires become secondary, and one finds significance in values which have meaning whether he, as an individual exists or not. Instead of meeting people in terms of his own desires, one seeks a greater reality toward which he can work with others. A person then is able to express the universal significance of Uranus and Neptune. If one simply want to be "normal", like everyone else, then the crisis of Uranus and Neptune will seem destructive, something to be fought against until things return to the familiar, comfortable old-shoe existence he had before. The problem here is that the normal routine will never again be as comfortable as it once was, leading to an end result of fear, frustration and having suffered for naught. Such a result spells spiritual defeat.

Continued in Part II.